Research

Mitigating Performance Degrading Defects in Gallium-doped Czochralski Silicon Solar Cells with Data-Informed Modeling

Mitigating Performance Degrading Defects in Gallium-doped Czochralski Silicon Solar Cells with Data-Informed Modeling

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Sumit Agarwal received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS) for a project that studies light- and temperature-induced degradation observed in p-type silicon passivated emitter rear contact (p-PERC) solar modules. The team is using gallium-doped Czochralski silicon wafers to understand the high efficiency and reliability of p-PERC crystalline silicon (c-Si) modules by mitigating 30 years of degradation in the field due to light and thermal effects.  May 16, 2024.

Colorado School of Mines awarded $10.5M in fuel cell funding 4/26/2024

Colorado School of Mines awarded $10.5M in fuel cell funding

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Robert Braun is featured in this article about how his research team received three federal awards boost funding for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies research.  The team is approaching this challenge from a multidisciplinary lens, with researchers bringing experience across cutting-edge fuel-cell research capabilities including new materials development, high-temperature electrochemistry, device design and characterization, ammonia chemistry, and systems integration.  April 24, 2024.

Greenhouse Gases Life Cycle Assessment for Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas 4/23/2024

Greenhouse Gases Life Cycle Assessment for Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributed to this report from the National Petroleum Institute on titled Reducing GHG Emissions from the U.S. Natural Gas Supply Chain.  His contributions were made to Chapter 4 – Greenhouse Gases Life Cycle Assessment for Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas.  The chapter introduces the fundamental concepts of LCA, discusses modeling GHG emissions from U.S. natural gas and LNG supply chains, quantifies life cycle GHG emissions, and explores application of LCAs in public and corporate policies.   April 23, 2024.

Potential for small and micro modular reactors to electrify developing regions 4/19/2024

Potential for small and micro modular reactors to electrify developing regions

Mines Faculty Guillaume L’Her, R. Scott Kemp, Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, and Faculty Fellow Mark Deinert write about how small-scale nuclear power is typically thought of for niche markets, however recent work has suggested that it could help address the massive gaps in energy access in developing countries.  They present a global analysis of regions suitable for nuclear reactor deployment based on physical siting criteria, security, governance and economic competitiveness.  April 19, 2024.

Exploring the Hidden World of Lighting Flicker with a High-Speed Camera 4/2/2024

Exploring the Hidden World of Lighting Flicker with a High-Speed Camera

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Senior Research Associate Christopher D. Elvidge, Research Associate Mikhail ZhizhinDirector Morgan Bazilian, Ashley Pipkin, Sharolyn Anderson, and William S. Kowalik write about how alternating current can result in flickering—or pulsing—in the brightness of light emitted by luminaires.  However, evidence indicates that many organisms perceive flicker with non-visual photoreceptors present on the retinas. April 2, 2024.

Energy, material, and resource efficiency for industrial decarbonization: A systematic review of sociotechnical systems, technological innovations, and policy options 3/25/2024

Energy, material, and resource efficiency for industrial decarbonization: A systematic review of sociotechnical systems, technological innovations, and policy options

Jinsoo Kim, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, Fellow Steve Griffiths, and Minyoung Yang write about how efficiency stands out as one of the most important options for achieving industrial decarbonization. In addition to carbon emissions reductions, improving energy, material and resource efficiency can bring many desirable benefits, such as cost savings, increased energy and resource security, and higher productivity. We conducted a comprehensive and systematic review through a socio-technical lens of more than 2.8 million references and 380 selected studies on industrial decarbonization.  March 25, 2024.

Exploring policy choices for addressing forever chemicals 3/25/2024

Exploring policy choices for addressing forever chemicals

Payne Institute Communications Associate Kristin Ziv, Student Researcher Isabel Guajardo Retamales and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how on March 20, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) convened a pivotal hearing titled “Examining PFAS as Hazardous Substances.  The session focused on the risks associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of synthetic chemicals found in various industrial and consumer products. March 25, 2024.

Review of Policy Research Special Issue March 2024 3/21/2024

Review of Policy Research Special Issue March 2024

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Dr. Kathleen J. Hancock is the editor of this March 2024 edition of the RDR Special Issue on Energy Regionalism. The Special Issue’s focus on energy regionalism stems from increasing academic interest in how geographic regions compare with each other and across issues areas as well as growing interest in a wide range of energy issues, often seen through lenses other than the traditional security one and including non-state actors. Understanding how regionalisms—players, processes, institutions, and organizations—intersect with energy is directly linked to domestic and international energy policies and outcomes. The contributions cover sub-Saharan Africa, the East Mediterranean, Central America, Russia, Europe, and North America.  March 21,2024.

Detection, localization, and quantification of single-source methane emissions on oil and gas production sites using point-in-space continuous monitoring systems 3/20/2024

Detection, localization, and quantification of single-source methane emissions on oil and gas production sites using point-in-space continuous monitoring systems

Payne Institute Student Researchers William S. Daniels and Meng Jia, and Faculty Fellow Dorit M. Hammerling write about how they propose a modular framework for methane emission detection, localization, and quantification on oil and gas production sites that uses concentration and wind data from point-in-space continuous monitoring systems. The framework leverages a gradient-based spike detection algorithm to estimate emission start and end times (event detection) and pattern matches simulated and observed concentrations to estimate emission source location (localization) and rate (quantification). March 20, 2024.

Projecting demand for mineral-based critical materials in the energy transition for electricity 3/18/2024

Projecting demand for mineral-based critical materials in the energy transition for electricity

Payne Institute Student Researcher Gabriel Collins, Faculty Fellow Carol A. Dahl, Student Researcher Maxwell Fleming, Student Researcher Michael Tanner, Student Researcher Wilson C. Martin, Kabir Nadkarni, Fellow Sara Hastings-Simon and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how mapping the changing energy landscape toward net zero and understanding the critical material needs to support the transition are essential for demanders and suppliers as well as policy makers seeking to orchestrate the transition. They provide such decision makers for electricity markets with a transparent tool that can be easily understood and modified as our transitional knowledge improves.  March 18, 2024.

Michael McGuirk Wins Negative Emissions Scialog Award 3/7/2024

Michael McGuirk Wins Negative Emissions Scialog Award

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Mike McGuirk has won a $50,000 award from the Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement’s (RSCA) Negative Emissions Science Scialog program to conduct research exploring opportunities to replace petroleum in this process with polyolefin waste, the largest type of post-consumer plastic.  March 7, 2024.

VIIRS SENSORS SHOW BREADTH OF TEXAS WILDFIRES 2/29/2024

VIIRS SENSORS SHOW BREADTH OF TEXAS WILDFIRES

Payne Institute Research Associate Mikhail Zhizhin, Senior Research Associate Christopher Elvidge, Communications Associate Kristin Ziv, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how using the VIIRS Nightfire satellites, the Earth Observation Group at the Payne Institute for Public Policy has calculated the temperatures and spatial extent of active burning in the Texas Panhandle with their Nightfire algorithm applied to data collected by NOAA’s Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer Suite (VIIRS). February 29, 2024.

The cleaning of U.S. natural gas; evolution of differentiated gas and related crediting mechanisms 2/15/24

The cleaning of U.S. natural gas; evolution of differentiated gas and related crediting mechanisms

Payne Institute Sustainable Finance Lab Program Manager Brad Handler and Student Researcher Felix Ayaburi write about the concept of differentiated gas, the emerging role of crediting mechanisms in promoting its adoption, and the prospects for demand growth and its evolution.  After rapid growth in the supply of U.S. differentiated gas through late 2021 and 2022, demand is rising from domestic utilities and industry as well as European energy companies. February 15, 2024.

Colorado is a regional quantum hub, but what does that mean? 1/31/2024

Colorado is a regional quantum hub, but what does that mean?

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Lincoln Carr interviews with CPR News about how the U.S. government recently designated Colorado a regional tech hub for the quantum industry. That puts the state in line to receive a federal grant as part of the CHIPS and Science Act, which aims to boost investment in emerging technologies. January 31, 2024.

Analysis of world trade data with machine learning to enhance policies of mineral supply chain transparency 1/13/2024

Analysis of world trade data with machine learning to enhance policies of mineral supply chain transparency

Umut Mete Saka, Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Sebnem Düzgün, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how utilizing machine learning to help the integration of supply chains worldwide and the establishment of resilient material flows emphasize the significance of transparency on mineral supplies. As regulations and policies around mineral supply become more stringent, organizations are actively seeking effective tools to assess the transparency of their supply chains.  January 13, 2024.

Comparing methods for criticality and security in minerals for clean energy 1/13/2024

Comparing methods for criticality and security in minerals for clean energy

Mines Advanced Energy Systems Student Eliza Hotchkiss, Maria Paz Urdaneta, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how energy security goals, supply chain risks, production growth, and market dynamics will shape the future of critical mineral methodologies.  This paper reviews two methodologies employed for critical mineral identification from nations committed to clean energy transitions.  January 13, 2024.

Solid oxide fuel cell at Colorado Fuel Cell Center now helping to power Mines campus 12/18/2023

Solid oxide fuel cell at Colorado Fuel Cell Center now helping to power Mines campus

Payne Institute Faculty Fellows Robert Braun and Neal Sullivan are featured in this article about how the Mines first-of-its-kind prototype is capable of generating almost 30 kW of electric power from natural gas, low-carbon fuels.  The research program is managed through DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), and features a hybrid fuel-cell and reciprocating engine system targeting 100 kW of net electricity at 70 percent efficiency under natural gas fuel and renewable fuels. December 18, 2023.

Elevate Quantum puts Colorado – and Mines – at forefront of future innovation 12/14/2023

Elevate Quantum puts Colorado – and Mines – at forefront of future innovation

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Lincoln Carr is featured in this article about how the U.S. Department of Commerce designates regional consortium of universities, national laboratories, organizations and companies as a tech hub for quantum information tech including Mines Elevate Quantum.  Elevate Quantum Colorado is one of 31 tech hubs around the country and one of only two dedicated to quantum specifically.  December 14, 2023.  

A comparative analysis of US state-level policies and programs to advance energy justice 12/6/2023

A comparative analysis of US state-level policies and programs to advance energy justice

Noah Sandoval, Jonathan Morgenstein, Jesse Geiger, Patrick Gibbs, Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, and Adam Warren write about how the US energy system is undergoing massive changes that have environmental, technological, and societal implications. A formal survey of state-level energy justice policies and programs is needed to better understand the methods used to assist communities targeted and the impacts of these efforts. Such an analysis should include an analysis of the metrics used to judge the effectiveness of the enacted policies and programs. In this paper, we analyze the energy justice policies and programs of seven different US states. December 6, 2023.  

OGCI accelerates action to tackle global oil and gas methane emissions 12/5/2023

OGCI accelerates action to tackle global oil and gas methane emissions

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) announced at COP28 that it has stepped up activities on methane detection and flaring to help more companies reduce methane emissions from their oil and gas operations.  OGCI expanded its flagship Satellite Monitoring Campaign (SMC) to include more countries and assets. This was complemented by work with the World Bank’s Global Flaring and Methane Reduction Partnership (GFMR) and US-based Payne Institute for Public Policy to launch a more accessible platform on global gas flaring data.  December 5, 2023.

Context-dependent changes in maritime traffic activity during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic 11/25/2023

Context-dependent changes in maritime traffic activity during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Christopher D. Elvidge and others write about how rapid implementation of human mobility restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically reduced maritime activity in early 2020.  However, maritime activity in 2020 was more complex than previously reported, as activity were industry and area specific.  Passenger vessels were less active in 97% of Mediterranean Sea coastal states, and ceclines in fishing vessel presence were localised and short-lived.  November 25, 2023.

Tracking electricity losses and their perceived causes using nighttime light and social media 11/21/2023

Tracking electricity losses and their perceived causes using nighttime light and social media

Samuel W. Kerber, Nicholas A. Duncan, Guillaume F. L’Her, Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, Earth Observation Group Chris Elvidge, and Faculty Fellow Mark R. Deinert write about how urban environments are intricate systems where the breakdown of critical infrastructure can impact both the economic and social well-being of communities.  Electricity systems hold particular significance, as they are essential for other infrastructure, and disruptions can trigger widespread consequences.  This study shows how satellite imagery, social media, and information extraction can monitor blackouts and their perceived causes. November 21, 2023.  

PROLONGED DIMMING OF UKRAINIAN URBAN ILLUMINATION: A MEASURE OF CONFLICT’S IMPACT 11/15/2023

Prolonged Dimming of Ukrainian Urban Illumination: A Measure of Conflict’s Impact

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Researcher Mikhail Zhizhin writes about how natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes or pandemics trigger a short-term dimming of city lights, followed by a rapid recovery. The war in Ukraine, however, has induced a novel pattern of city lights changes: an abrupt and sustained decline in illumination from the outset of the conflict, persisting for two years with partial recovery observed in some cities. November 15, 2023.

The Fifth National Climate Assessment 11/14/2023

The Fifth National Climate Assessment

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian was one of the contributing authors of the U.S. Government’s preeminent report on climate change impacts, risks, and responses. It is a congressionally mandated interagency effort that provides the scientific foundation to support informed decision-making across the United States.  However, without deeper cuts in global net greenhouse gas emissions and accelerated adaptation efforts, severe climate risks to the United States will continue to grow.  November 14, 2023.

How can Colorado attack “forever chemicals” tainting military soil? School of Mines is leading the way to find out. 11/13/2023

How can Colorado attack “forever chemicals” tainting military soil? School of Mines is leading the way to find out.

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Chris Higgins contributes to this article about how nine different techniques for getting PFAS out of toxic dirt will be tested next year at Schriever Space Force Base near Colorado Springs.  Even the environmental watchdogs cataloging the depressing toll of “forever chemicals” throughout the food chain say they are encouraged by the School of Mines test.  November 13, 2023.  

Project to test technologies to clean up contaminated materials set to start at Colorado Springs-area military base 11/10/2023

Project to test technologies to clean up contaminated materials set to start at Colorado Springs-area military base

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Chris Higgins contributes to this article about how a project headed by the Colorado School of Mines to test the best clean up methods for PFAS-contaminated materials is set to begin next summer on Schriever Space Force Base.  According to Christopher Higgins, a School of Mines professor working on the Department of Defense-funded project, those working on the project will be testing six different PFAS clean up technologies on soils they say the base has set aside for testing in an effort to see which is the most effective on a larger scale.  November 10, 2023.

WHAT IF AMERICA’S MINERAL-INTENSIVE MILITARY RUNS OUT OF MINERALS? 11/10/2023

WHAT IF AMERICA’S MINERAL-INTENSIVE MILITARY RUNS OUT OF MINERALS?

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian, Macdonald Amoah, Gregory Wischer, and Juliet Akamboe write about how minerals still undergird warfighting technology, including defense platforms and munitions.  Like previous junctions in human history, the current period will be defined by minerals and the warfighting technology that they enable. November 10, 2023.

Tabares-Velasco awarded two DOE grants for work toward energy efficiency at any income level 11/7/2023

Tabares-Velasco awarded two DOE grants for work toward energy efficiency at any income level

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Paulo Tabares-Velasco is featured in this article about receiving funding from the DOE Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) program, for two projects specifically aimed at making energy efficiency, electrification and resiliency possibility for communities in Colorado: a home battery energy storage system for retrofitted housing in in Colorado and a new heat pump water heater with latent heat storage in low-income housing.  November 7, 2023.

Colleges and companies collaborate to study PFAS soil purification methods at Schriever SFB 11/1/2023

Colleges and companies collaborate to study PFAS soil purification methods at Schriever SFB

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Chris Higgins contributes to this article about how a team of scientists at the Colorado School of Mines alongside other major universities will be testing out soil purification technologies at Schriever Space Force Base.  It’s an international effort to defeat what is commonly known as “Forever Chemicals.”  The three universities and five companies, both foreign and domestic, are testing technologies to get these chemicals out of soils. The work is funded by the Department of Defense.  November 1, 2023.

Critical mineral demand estimates for low-carbon technologies: What do they tell us and how can they evolve? 10/31/2023

Critical mineral demand estimates for low-carbon technologies: What do they tell us and how can they evolve?

Mines Student Researcher Jordy Lee Calderon, Faculty Fellows Nicole Smith and Elizabeth Holley, and Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the transition to low-carbon energy systems will increase demand for a range of critical minerals and metals. As a result, several quantitative demand models have been developed to help understand the projected scale of growth and if, and to what extent, material shortages may become an obstacle to the deployment of clean energy technologies. October 31, 2023.

TAKING THE FIGHT TO FOREVER CHEMICALS 10/16/2023

TAKING THE FIGHT TO FOREVER CHEMICALS

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Chris Higgins is featured in an article about how Mines launched a broad-based research initiative earlier this year to advance scientific understanding of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, and develop practical engineering solutions to address these so-called “forever chemicals,” one of the largest-scale environmental and public health challenges facing the U.S. today. October 16, 2023

Uncovering the Effects of the Southwest Monsoon on Fishing Activity in the Indian Ocean with VIIRS Boat Detection Data 10/12/2023

Uncovering the Effects of the Southwest Monsoon on Fishing Activity in the Indian Ocean with VIIRS Boat Detection Data

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Researchers Namrata Chatterjee, Tilottama Ghosh, Christopher D Elvidge, Mikhail Zhizhin, and Tamara Sparks write about how the VIIRS Boat Detection (VBD) product offers real-time insights into the movements of fishing vessels. This study highlights the utility of VIIRS boat detection data in monitoring fishing activity and its response to seasonal and regulatory influences in the Indian Ocean, ultimately contributing to more effective fisheries management and conservation efforts. October 12, 2023.  

Payne Institute report assesses supply chain variables for critical minerals 9/29/2023

Payne Institute report assesses supply chain variables for critical minerals

The Payne Institute for Public Policy at Colorado School of Mines released The State of Critical Minerals Report 2023. The analysis examines how the increasing demand for the critical minerals necessary to power a green economy will impact global communities, markets, national security, and geopolitics.  The United States Geological Survey suggests that lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and graphite are the metals needed to power electric vehicles. Alternatively, arsenic, gallium, germanium, indium, and tellurium are essential to constructing solar panels. September 29, 2023.

PAYNE INSTITUTE TO CONVENE TALKS ON DIFFERENTIATED GAS VERIFICATION STANDARDS IN COLLABORATION WITH EEMDL RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP 9/28/2023

PAYNE INSTITUTE TO CONVENE TALKS ON DIFFERENTIATED GAS VERIFICATION STANDARDS IN COLLABORATION WITH EEMDL RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP

As part of its ongoing work with the Energy Emissions Modeling and Data Lab (EEMDL), the Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines is commencing a new stakeholder dialogue focused on the independent verification of standards and other governance issues in the rapidly evolving differentiated gas market.  EEMDL was established in early 2023 to improve the accuracy of greenhouse gas measurement and accounting across global energy supply chains, starting with methane emissions. September 28, 2023.

Payne Institute for Public Policy Releases First Annual State of Critical Minerals Report

Payne Institute for Public Policy Releases First Annual State of Critical Minerals Report

The Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines released today its first annual State of Critical Minerals Report on the growing demand for critical minerals and their impact on energy transitions, communities, markets, national security and geopolitics.  The energy transition—and increased demand for electric cars, solar panels and other low-carbon technologies—is reliant on critical minerals. Many of these minerals, however, are mined and processed in adversarial nations or countries with low environmental, labor and human rights standards. In fact, of the 50 minerals identified on the U.S. Geological Survey Critical Minerals List, the U.S. is 100 percent reliant on imports for 12 and more than 50 percent dependent for 31.  September 26, 2023.

THE STATE OF CRITICAL MINERALS REPORT 2023 9/26/2023

THE STATE OF CRITICAL MINERALS REPORT 2023

The Payne Institute for Public Policy and the Colorado School of Mines has released our inaugural annual State of Critical Minerals Report. The report is aimed at contributing to the important discourse on critical minerals and how to harness them in a more sustainable manner as a catalyst to the energy transition and by extension, climate action. It explores various parts of the critical minerals value chain and the interplay of these segments in driving a successful minerals industry.  The report covers geopolitics and what that means for national security, the demand and supply dynamics of critical minerals markets, financial markets and investments, the future of sustainable mining and the environment, and social governance (ESG) factors confronting the industry.  September 26, 2023.  

Contemporary ice sheet thinning drives subglacial groundwater exfiltration with potential feedbacks on glacier flow 8/18/2023

Contemporary ice sheet thinning drives subglacial groundwater exfiltration with potential feedbacks on glacier flow

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Matthew Siegfried and Alexander A. Robel, Shi J. Sim, Colin Meyer, and Mines alum Chloe D. Gustafson write about how groundwater-laden sedimentary aquifers are extensive beneath large portions of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. A reduction in the mechanical loading of aquifers is known to lead to groundwater exfiltration, a discharge of groundwater from the aquifer. Here, we provide a simple expression predicting exfiltration rates under a thinning ice sheet.   August 18, 2023. 

Critical Minerals Outlooks Comparison 8/15/2023

Critical Minerals Outlooks Comparison

Payne Institute Research Associate Juliet Akamboe, student researchers Ebenezer Manful-Sam, Felix Ayaburi, Director Morgan Bazilian and IEF’s Mason Hamilton write a critical minerals report about how with the acceleration of energy transitions, clean energy technologies have rapidly emerged as the segment with the fastest growth in demand in critical minerals supply chains and markets.  Highlighting key insights for critical minerals decisionmakers, the report analyses eleven publicly available reports from eight agencies and organizations across different geographies, spanning from 2019 to 2023.  August 15, 2023.

Accelerating Coal Plant Retirement at Scale 8/1/2023

Accelerating Coal Plant Retirement at Scale

Deb Chattopadhyay, Payne Institute Program Manager Brad Handler, and Chandrasekar Govindarajalu write about how coal plants in some countries are actively being retired ahead of their planned closure dates, there is yet to be sufficient clarity on which business model(s) might help to achieve this at scale.  Policy-based and market-led closures, buyout of coal plants, auctioning them off, repurposing them, and swapping coal assets with renewables have all been tried in different parts of the world. They make an assessment of various proposed financial and business models to retire coal fired power plants early and which model or combination of models might work best for “at-scale” closure. August 1, 2023.  

The Economics of Natural Gas Flaring and Methane Emissions in US Shale: An Agenda for Research and Policy 7/26/2023

The Economics of Natural Gas Flaring and Methane Emissions in US Shale: An Agenda for Research and Policy

Mark Agerton, Payne Faculty Fellow Ben Gilbert, and Gregory B. Upton Jr. write about how natural gas flaring and methane emissions (F&M) are linked environmental issues for US shale oil and gas operations. Flaring refers to burning natural gas when regulatory, infrastructure, and market constraints make it infeasible to capture it when drilling for oil. In this paper, we lay out an agenda for researchers and policy makers. We describe why F&M are linked, both physically and in terms of policy. July 26, 2023.

Lights on the Water? Accumulating VIIRS boat detection grids in Southeast Asia spanning 2012–2021 7/26/2023

Lights on the Water? Accumulating VIIRS boat detection grids in Southeast Asia spanning 2012–2021

Payne Institute Earth Observation Group Christopher D. Elvidge, Tilottama Ghosh, Namrata Chatterjee, and Mikhail Zhizhin write about how it has been known since the 1970s that heavily lit fishing boats can be detected with nighttime visible low-light imaging data collected by polar-orbiting meteorological sensors (Croft, 1979). The two-sensor series having low-light imaging capabilities include the U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS) and the NASA/NOAA Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).  The VIIRS sensor provides key improvements (Elvidge et al., 2013) in low-light imaging from 2012 to the present and the pixel resolution (742 m × 742 m) is finer and has in-flight calibration to radiance units.  The VBD data were produced in near real-time and the nightly record extends back to April 2012 in Asia. In addition to the nightly product, the EOG also made monthly and annual summary grids.  Starting on page 33. July 26, 2023.

ACCOUNTING FOR NON-MARKETED CAPITAL 7/25/2023

ACCOUNTING FOR NON-MARKETED CAPITAL

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Graham Davis and Robert Cairns write about how intangible capital is a key input to production that is distinct from tangible capital. Most forms of tangible and intangible capital have observable, pecuniary values. Their complement is non-marketed capital. This paper studies non-marketed capital from the points of view of an investor contemplating investing in a project and of a manager running the project. At the point of investment, an apparent positive net present value is realized through the marshalling of non-marketed capital.  July 25, 2023.

Transitional dynamics from mercury to cyanide-based processing in artisanal and small-scale gold mining: Social, economic, geochemical, and environmental considerations 7/21/2023

Transitional dynamics from mercury to cyanide-based processing in artisanal and small-scale gold mining: Social, economic, geochemical, and environmental considerations

Payne Institute Research Associate Aaron Malone and Faculty Fellow Nicole Smith and others examine the environmental issues around artisanal gold mining, in particular highlighting often-overlooked problems that are occurring as more of the sector incorporates cyanide processing. The common sense among policy makers and the international community is that anything that decreases use of mercury is an improvement – but what we show is that the current transition phase, with mercury and cyanide use overlapping, actually makes environmental problems worse. In this regard, it is important not to be complacent or imagine that artisanal gold mining’s environmental problems will fix themselves. July 21, 2023.

Mining Profile – Ghana 7/13/2023

Mining Profile – Ghana

The Payne Institute looks at the current mining profile of Ghana, in the first of a series of informational snapshots of mining around the world.  July 13, 2023.

Sonnenberg recognized with RMS AAPG Robert J. Weimer Lifetime Contribution Award 7/12/2023

Sonnenberg recognized with RMS AAPG Robert J. Weimer Lifetime Contribution Award

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Stephen Sonnenberg was awarded the RMS AAPG Robert J. Weimer Lifetime Contribution Award for contributions to the practice of geosciences and petroleum geology in the Rocky Mountain region.  Sonnenberg’s research focuses on unconventional reservoirs, sequence stratigraphy, tectonic influence on sedimentation, and petroleum geology.  July 12, 2023.

Characterization work aims to address cost of green hydrogen technologies 7/10/2023

Characterization work aims to address cost of green hydrogen technologies

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Svitlana Pylypenko is featured in this article about how the appeal of green hydrogen is clear, but before hydrogen fuel cell and electrolyzer technologies can be adopted on a commercial scale, questions of cost, durability and performance still need to be addressed.  Including looking for answers to questions of cost, durability and performance at the microscopic — and even nano — scale.  July 10, 2023.

Payne Institute Responsible Gas Initiative Report 6/30/2023

Payne Institute Responsible Gas Initiative Report

In early March 2023, the Payne Institute for Public Policy convened the inaugural Responsible Gas Symposium in Golden, Colorado. This report summarizes some of the major themes of discussion and lessons learned during and after the symposium, amid increasingly urgent domestic and international efforts to reduce methane emissions from all sectors of the economy, including the oil and natural gas industry.  June 30, 2023.

 

The Payne Institute experts are regional, national, and international leaders in applied research in natural resources, energy, and the environment. Our team is involved in a wide variety of research projects in these fields, and are committed to sharing these results with academic and professional audiences.

 

DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed are those of the author alone and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs, viewpoints, or official policies of the Payne Institute or Colorado School of Mines.