A US-China coal research consortium led by West Virginia University will receive $12.5 million over the next five years to accelerate research on clean coal and carbon capture and storage, US Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Sept. 2.

U.S. consortium partners have committed up to an additional $12.5 million in matching funds for a total $25 million program.

The U.S.-China Advanced Coal Technology Consortium will focus on achieving rapid progress in clean coal and carbon capture technology development, demonstration and enhancement – work that should lead to new export opportunities for U.S. companies while helping reduce global carbon emissions.

The consortium, which will develop and test new technologies for carbon capture and sequestration, is led by Jerry Fletcher, director of the WVU-based US-China Energy Center – a component of the university’s Advanced Energy Initiative – who, along with technical lead Julio Friedmann of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, created the successful proposal that competed with similar applications from other groups around the nation.

The DOE funding is from the US China Clean Energy Research Center which was formally announced by President Obama and China President Hu Jintao during President Obama’s trip to Beijing last November.

“The U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center will help accelerate the development and deployment of clean vehicle and clean coal technologies here at home,” said Secretary Chu. “This new partnership will also create new export opportunities for American companies, ensure the United States remains at the forefront of technology innovation, and help to reduce global carbon pollution.”

West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller, author of the bipartisan Carbon Capture and Storage Deployment Act of 2010, said WVU is uniquely poised for the challenge of the project.

“West Virginia University’s energy researchers are some of the very best in the nation and with their dedication this new partnership will pay real dividends – in terms of jobs, clean energy and economic growth – for our state and nation,” Sen. Rockefeller said.

U.S. Senator Carte Goodwin said the news further illustrates how “West Virginia is leading the way for our country’s energy future.”

In addition to WVU and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the consortium includes Los Alamos National Laboratory, the National Energy Technology Laboratory, the University of Wyoming, University of Kentucky, Indiana University, the World Resources Institute, the US-China Clean Energy Forum, General Electric, Duke Energy, LP Amina, Babcock & Wilcox and American Electric Power.

Curt M. Peterson, WVU vice president for Research and Economic Development, said the high profiles of all the consortium partners reinforces the University’s steady progress in energy research.

“The Advanced Energy Initiative at WVU facilitates opportunities like the new consortium and works to elevate the University’s position nationally and internationally as a source for quality energy research,” Peterson said.

Meanwhile, Chinese funding will support Chinese researchers and institutions that will collaborate closely with today’s award winners and their partners. Chinese partners will be announced in the coming months by the Chinese government.



CONTACT: Gerrill Griffith, WVU Research Corp.
304-293-3743; Gerrill.Griffith@mail.wvu.edu

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