EPSRC grant to study hydroceramic materials as sealants for geothermal wells (December 2004). Christopher Hall, Andrew Harrison, Nicola Meller and Gavin Whittaker have been awarded an EPSRC grant to develop recent exploratory work on CAO-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O based hydroceramic materials. They will use conventional and microwave heating to develop new potential sealant compositions both ex-situ and in-situ at the UK synchrotron source. Andrew Harrison and Gavin Whittaker will develop a new microwave reactor for use on hydrothermal systems for the synchrotron source whilst Chris Hall and Nicola Meller will use the stage developed in their previous grant to determine the rates of reaction and the presence of intermediate phases. Suitability for use in the field will be etermined via a number of methods: mineralogy (X-ray diffraction), microtexture (scanning electron microscopy and microtomography), permeability, compressive strength and durability in laboratory simulated geothermal environments. The project will last for three years and has sufficient funding for 2 PhD studentships.