Affiliation: Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Spain
Keywords: Geo-energies, geothermal energy, geologic carbon storage, subsurface energy storage, hydrogeology, geomechanics, induced seismicity
Full profile: Víctor Vilarrasa is a tenured scientist at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and a full member of the Young Academy of Spain, the Global Young Academy and the Young Academy of Europe. He leads an international research group, currently composed by 16 members. He performs interdisciplinary research in a collaborative environment, combining concepts of hydrogeology, geomechanics, geochemistry and seismology, which allows him to address complex geoengineering challenges.
His group is part of CSIC’s Interdisciplinary Thematic Platform PTI-TRANSENER, which aims at contributing to the global challenge of the transition of the energy model. He counts with an extensive network of international collaborators and is very active disseminating and communicating his findings. His research has been supported by prestigious grants, such as the Starting Grant and Proof of Concepts of the European Research Council (ERC) and Doctoral Networks of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA-DN), being coordinator of one MSCA-DN.
His main scientific contributions are related to the understanding of coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical processes involved in deep fluid circulation: (1) the proposal for cold (dense) injection of CO2 for geologic carbon storage, which reduces energy requirements by a factor around 5 and improves mechanical stability; (2) the concept of high pressure injection test, to characterize geomechanical properties of caprocks; and, most importantly, (3) his advances on the understanding of induced (micro)seismicity required to minimize the risk of inducing felt earthquakes, which will permit a successful deployment of geo-energy projects – a necessary step to reach net-zero emissions of GHGs. His scientific achievements have been recognized by several awards.