Haelixa develops and provides cutting-edge DNA-tracer based solutions for fluid/leakages monitoring in many industrial and environmental settings to optimize industrial processes, improve safety and manage liability. An industry of particular interest is the oil&gas, where the tracers can be used to label drilling/fracking fluids in underground reservoirs. By doing so, on the one hand side they allow to diagnose and track back to the source leakages or groundwater contaminations, thereby helping in assigning liability and pushing oil companies to use measures to monitor potential leaks. On the other hand, by tracking the movement of such fluids in the subsurface, one can obtain reservoir parameters (such as porosity, permeability, and connectivity maps), which oil companies can use to maximize production, or monitor the effectiveness of the fracking/stimulation processes. In this way, the technology holds the promise of improving the efficiency of the operation in the oil&gas, while minimizing the impact on local communities and the environment.
Role in the Project
To this aim, during the course of the project few classes of DNA-tracers will be selected for testing in various oilfield-like conditions. Lab tests will be performed in the lab in order to evaluate tracer candidate properties such as thermal stability, absorption, and coherence with the flow of the traced fluid. Once the behaviour of the tracers will be characterized, best-performing tracers will go through a field test.
Haelixa team originates from ETH Zurich (PhDs/MScs), and possess extensive knowledge in all kinds of DNA- and particle-related aspects, ranging from DNA analysis using state-of-the-art bio-analytics to particle synthesis and engineering.
With a PhD from ETH Zurich, Michela Puddu has co-invented Haelixa technology and later co-founded, together with Gediminas Mikutis, Haelixa GmbH, the company she is currently leading.
Gediminas Mikutis (MSc, ETH) is co-inventor of Haelixa technology and has relevant industrial experience in the area of DNA analytics.
Punit Mehra holds a masterâ€™s degree in Chemistry from ETH Zurich, he has gained quite some experience in the field of chemical synthesis and process scale up.