Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

A world of porous materials

Researchers demonstrate how we can make use of pores to solve some of the greatest challenges before us – such as the global climate crisis.

Porøse medier
From left: Professor Atle Rotevatn, curator Åshild S.F. Thorsen, professor Jan Martin Nordbotten, professor Martin Fernø.
Silje K Robinson/UiB

Main content

Almost everything around us contain pores; the stone under your feet, the furniture upon which you sit, and even your brain is porous.

Even though we are surrounded by porous media, few are familiar with the term itself. Where and how porous media appear and behave, not to mention the physics behind, are both useful and relevant questions that involves a number of fields. As both man-made and natural materials contain pores, pores are utilised naturally, industrially and medically.  

Through our growing comprehension of how pores work, we constantly find new ways to utilise the properties of porous materials. The norwegian parliament has decided that storage of CO2 in porous media is to be one of Norway’s national measures against the global climate crisis.

But how will we be able to responsibly store climate gases? 

Forskningsriggen er en installasjon for å forstå hva som skjer når CO₂ lagres i berggrunnen. Karbonfangs og lagring er en tilgjenglig teknologi for å kunne redusere utslipp av klimagassen CO₂. Foto The FluidFlower Project Team
The FluidFlower Project Team

Carbon Storage

Researchers with the University of Bergen are now working to solve how to safely and responsibly store CO2.

Through the exhibition A Porous World the public will be able to familiarise themselves with the scientific research project Fluid Flower, a research rig that emulates how carbon will behave when stored in porous rocks below the seabed. The rig has been installed on the lower floor of the museum, and is in active use in the research into carbon capture and storage.  

Silje K Robinson/UiB

This research will in turn be put into practice through the Northern Lights project. The intention is to store CO2 in the energy park outside Øygarden as soon as 2024.  

Geology, physics, mathmatics – and brain research

A Porous World builds upon the interdisciplinary porous media-research with the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Here, the researchers work with foundational understandings of the geological processes through which porous rocks are formed, conduct physical readings and experiments, and solve mathematical equations that describe flow and transport within porous media.

This research is also used to expand our understanding of the brain as a porous medium, which contributes to develop new knowledge in the research on brain diseases.  

Silje K Robinson/UiB