The University of Texas (UT) at Austin is one of the largest public universities in the United States and also quite active in clean coal technology research. The school recently received millions in federal, state and private grants to:
• Develop sequestration technology training projects
• Help create a skilled workforce for the emerging carbon capture and storage industry and build public awareness of the technology’s societal benefits
• Identify state-owned areas in the Gulf of Mexico where carbon dioxide can be stored safely and economically
• Create economical technology to reduce CO2 emissions from coal-based power plants
In October 2007, the Bureau of Economic Geology at UT received a 10-year, $38 million subcontract to conduct the first large-scale U.S. test of underground sequestration of CO2.
Coincidentally, we recently heard from UT research scientist Susan Hovorka on her sequestration project in Mississippi—which has resulted in the successful storage of one million tons of CO2.
Given that Texas produces and consumes more electricity than any other state, it’s not surprising that they’re at the forefront of new technologies that can ensure coal’s continued use while reducing emissions.
Hats off to the University of Texas — their research and discipline will be critical to clean energy development for years to come.
Happy holidays from ACCCE
At ACCCE, we love hearing about different kinds of cutting-edge clean coal technologies. From geologic sequestration to carbon dioxide-eating algae, it seems like breakthroughs in next-generation technologies are happening all the time.
One kind of technology we’re particularly excited about is “white coal,” a new pre-combustion process developed by White Coal Energy. It was recently profiled in the American Coal Council’s American Coal magazine.
The article, titled “Realizing a Cleaner Coal,” written by White Energy Coal President Judy Tanselle, describes the benefits of her company’s breakthrough process. White coal technology accelerates the maturation of lower-grade coals to produce a cleaner, more usable and more efficient grade of coal.
Here’s how it works: by crushing and drying low-value coal, the process produces a high-density, high-energy coal that has the ability to increase boiler efficiency, decrease plant outages and reduce carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury emissions.
White Energy announced plans to develop its first coal-upgrading facility in the U.S. in partnership with Buckskin Mining, and the $80 million project near Gillette, Wyo., is expected to be fully operational by 2010.
Between growing global energy demand and our collective goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it’s clear that this technology could be an important tool in our clean technology arsenal. Learn more about white coal technology in the first issue of American Coal magazine by the American Coal Council.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it would contribute $350 million to Summit Power Group’s Texas Clean Energy Project (TCEP), one of the 100-plus programs we recently added to the America’s PowerSM Clean Coal Technology Map.
Once completed, the Odessa, Texas, facility will have the capacity to produce 400 megawatts of coal-generated electricity, enough to power 400,000 homes.
The best part is that it will effectively capture 90 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions. And according to the TCEP Web site, the first-of-its-kind project “will capture more carbon than any power generation facility of commercial scale yet operating anywhere in the world.”
The plant will use an impressive host of technologies to achieve this goal, including a combination of integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) and carbon capture technology to trap carbon dioxide emissions, which will be injected deep underground in the nearby Permian Basin in a process called enhanced oil recovery.
For more on clean coal technology projects in your state, take a look at our map. With $11 billion in research in more than 40 states, there’s bound to be a cutting-edge project near you.