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U.S., Chinese researchers collaborate on clean coal

International consortium stems from needs and resources of each country

News Release

April 05, 2007 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — Scientists from China will meet with their counterparts in the United States next week to advance the science needed to use coal – the No. 1 domestic energy resource for each country – cleanly and more economically.

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics and the Institute of Coal Chemistry are establishing a new partnership called the International Consortium for Clean Energy.

Each organization is recognized internationally for research in developing improved technologies for safe and clean production of energy from coal and during workshops in China in December laid the foundation for the consortium.

The groups have mutual interests in:

  • High temperature chemistry and diagnostics related to coal gasification
  • Functional sorbents design and development of syngas separations
  • Catalysis for hydrocarbon synthesis and conversions

The three partner institutions have complementary research programs without a lot of duplication. Where there are overlaps in currently funded projects, the teams will initiate joint projects with each organization using resources from their individual government funding agencies.

“With demand for energy – both electricity and transportation fuels – increasing, despite efficiency gains, coal usage is going to increase in both countries,” said Mike Davis, associate laboratory director for Energy Science and Technology at PNNL. “Our challenge, on the research side, is to make it happen cleanly and economically. Together, I believe we can make important strides in this effort.”

“This is a unique opportunity to design and test new processes – such as carbon dioxide capture - that will reduce significantly the environmental impacts of coal usage,” said Doug Ray, associate laboratory director for Fundamental Science at PNNL.

The consortium will involve personnel exchanges and plans to jointly propose new clean coal technology research and development projects to agencies in both the U.S. and China. In the U.S., this would be primarily the Department of Energy.

Initially, the consortium expects to collaborate on air separation, coal gasification, cleanup and separation, and water gas shift reactions in the gas stream, hydrocarbon synthesis and carbon dioxide capture and utilization.

PNNL is a DOE Office of Science national laboratory that solves complex problems in energy, national security and the environment, and advances scientific frontiers in the chemical, biological, materials, environmental and computational sciences. PNNL employs 4,200 staff, has a $750 million annual budget, and has been managed by Ohio-based Battelle since the lab's inception in 1965.

Tags: Energy, Environment, Fundamental Science, National Security, Chemistry, Catalysis

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