DOE to Invest $28M in Clean Coal Research


"The projects are expected to create nearly 100 jobs that will last for up to four years."

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will invest a total of $27.6 million in 19 projects to evaluate the potential risks of storing carbon dioxide (CO2) in geologic formations.

The projects, worth a total of $35.8 million over four years, including $8.2 million of non-federal cost sharing, will be managed by the Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory.

In announcing the investment, the DOE underlined the ongoing importance of coal as an energy source in the United States, where it supplies nearly 50% of domestic energy.

"In order for low-cost electricity from coal-fired power plants to remain available, economical methods for capturing and storing the greenhouse gas emissions from these plants must be developed. It is widely believed that CO2 storage in deep geologic formations will be one of the most economical ways to achieve this goal," said a DOE statement.

The projects fall into three main categories: monitoring, verification and accounting (MVA); simulation; and risk assessment. MVA projects include a Columbia University (N.Y., New York) project to develop "tagging" systems for CO2 that will make it easier to accurately inventory geologically stored carbon.

Simulation projects include research by Advanced Resources International (Arlington, Virginia) to develop and test three advanced geochemical and geomechanical modules to increase the accuracy of simulating CO2 behavior in coals and shales, coupled with flow simulation.

Risk assessment projects include work by the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin to quantify the risks associated with CO2 storage in brine reservoirs.

The projects are expected to create nearly 100 jobs that will last for up to four years.

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