EAS alum Yifei (Faye) Liu is featured as one of the College's "20 under 40" young alumni.
Faye received her Ph.D. from our department in 2012 in biogeochemistry. Her work was on carbon sequestration in a dissertation titled “Assessment of carbon dioxide storage potential in saline formations and shale gas reservoirs with enhanced gas recovery in the Midwest regions, U.S.A.” She examined the potential for injecting carbon dioxide into sandstones and shales deep beneath the Earth’s surface as a means for sequestering it from the atmosphere. One of the risks of sequestration is that the gas may either filter through porous materials and escape or it may react chemically with the materials it contacts and cause undesirable effects. Using a combination of modeling, chemical analysis, and physical analysis, Faye found that shales, such as Indiana’s New Albany Shale, have potential for sequestration because they have microscopic pore spaces to store the gas and because the mineral structure of their clay-based material tends to draw the gas into the pores.
Faye is now the Founder and CEO of RevoChem, LLC in Houston. She worked for five years at ConocoPhillips analyzing the flow of fluids and gasses through the Earth’s subsurface using geochemical fingerprinting. Fluids and gasses change their composition as they react with the rocks through which they pass, and those reactions result in unique chemical signatures that can be used to match samples from different locations and thus trace patterns of flow. This technique has many important applications, ranging from petroleum exploration, to tracing and remediating groundwater contamination, to understanding the fundamental processes that control the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere. She left ConocoPhillips to found her own company to provide analytical solutions for problems such as these. Not only has her expertise resulted in a successful company, but it has earned her a Professor of Practice faculty position at Texas A&M University.