LanzaTech in Coal to Ethanol Project in China; New Bio Energy Research Center

New Zealand-based Lanzatech, the developer of gas fermentation technology for producing ethanol and high value chemicals (e.g.: MEK, Butadiene) from industrial waste gases, has signed a memorandum of understanding with one of the largest coal producers in China, Henan Coal and Chemical Industrial Corporation, to build a demonstration plant to... Read more →


DOE Selects 8 Projects to Advance Technologies for the Co-Production of Power and Hydrogen, Fuels or Chemicals from Coal-Biomass Feedstocks

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 8 research projects for funding that will focus on gasification of coal/biomass to produce synthetic gas (syngas) as a pathway to producing power, hydrogen, fuel or chemicals. The total value of the projects is approximately $8.2 million, with $6.4 million of DOE... Read more →


Federal Task Force Concludes CCS is Viable, But Carbon Price Is Critical; Sends Recommendations to President Obama on Fostering the Technology

President Obama’s Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), co-chaired by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE), delivered a series of recommendations to the president on overcoming the barriers to the widespread, cost-effective deployment of CCS within 10 years. The report concludes... Read more →


DOE Awarding More Than $3.3M to 7 Universities To Conduct Advanced Turbine Technology Studies for Advanced Coal-Based Power Generation

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding more than $3.3 million to 7 universities to conduct advanced turbine technology studies under the Office of Fossil Energy’s (FE) University Turbine Systems Research (UTSR) Program. The universities—located in Georgia, Texas, North Dakota, Louisiana, California, and New York—will investigate the technology needed... Read more →


Study Concludes “Peak Coal” Will Occur Close to 2011

A multi-Hubbert analysis of coal production by Tadeusz Patzek at The University of Texas at Austin and Gregory Croft at the University of California, Berkeley concludes that the global peak of coal production from existing coalfields will occur close to the year 2011. The HHV of global production is likely... Read more →


Life-cycle GHG emissions from fossil and alternative sources of electricity. Credit: ACS, Kharecha et al.Click to enlarge. CO2 emissions from US coal-fired power plant could be phased out entirely by 2030 using existing technologies or ones that could be commercially competitive with coal within about a decade, according to a... Read more →


NETL Soliciting R&D Projects for Co-Production of Power, Fuels, and Chemicals via Coal/Biomass Mixtures

The US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has issued a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) soliciting research projects that will address key challenges related to the utilization of coal-biomass mixtures for co-production of power and hydrogen, fuels, and/or chemicals. NETL estimates total program funding for the cooperative... Read more →


DOE Seeking Comments on Report on Research Strategy for Developing Unconventional Fossil Energy Resources

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking comments from industry and academia on a draft report outlining domestic unconventional fossil energy resource opportunities and associated technology applications, in support of an overall strategy for the further development of these resources. The report, Unconventional Fossil Energy: Domestic Resource Opportunities and... Read more →


Accelergy Begins Production of Synthetic Jet Fuel from Coal and Biomass; USAF to Evaluate for 100% Synthetic Fuel Use

Accelergy Corporation has begun production of a synthetic fuel from coal and biomass, to be evaluated by the United States Air Force (USAF) as the industry benchmark for 100% synthetic jet fuel. To date, biomass-derived synthetic paraffinic kerosenes (SPK) have required blending with petroleum feedstocks on a 50% basis to... Read more →


ACS Puts a Focus on Sustainability

The current issue of the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) JACS Select has, for the first time, drawn content from two ACS journals—JACS and Environmental Science & Technology—under the theme of “Harnessing Energy for a Sustainable World”. The 11 papers selected from JACS concern materials and methods for energy production and... Read more →


Peabody Energy and GreatPoint Energy To Partner on Coal-to-Gas and Coal-to-Hydrogen Facilities with Carbon Capture and Storage

Overview of the bluegas catalytic coal methanation process. Click to enlarge. Peabody Energy and GreatPoint Energy signed an agreement to pursue development of coal-to-gas and coal-to-hydrogen projects in the United States and around the world with carbon capture and storage (CCS) that would achieve near-zero carbon emissions, while increasing the... Read more →


Catalytic performance on the bifunctional catalysts. CZA is unpromoted, CZA-Zr is promoted with Zr; CZA-Ga is promoted with Ga. Credit: ACS. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the Petroleum Displacement Technology Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), have developed new bi-functional catalysts, promoted with Zr (Zirconium) or Ga... Read more →


Underground Coal Gasification Company In Partnership to Test Alkaline Fuel Cells for Power Generation

Australia-based underground coal gasification (UCG) company Linc Energy (earlier post) has signed an exclusive agreement with the UK-based alkaline fuel cell technology company AFC Energy Plc and its related company, B9 Coal (earlier post). The agreement gives Linc Energy the exclusive right to test the AFC Fuel Cell Technology on... Read more →


US and China Presidents Announce US-China Electric Vehicles Initiative, Six Other Measures to Strengthen Cooperation Between the Countries on Energy Issues

In Beijing, US President Barack Obama and China President Hu Jintao announced a package of seven measures to strengthen cooperation between the United States and China on clean energy, including: a Clean Energy Research Center; Electric Vehicles Initiative; Energy Efficiency Action Plan; Renewable Energy Partnership; 21st Century Coal; Shale Gas... Read more →


Underground coal gasification uses paired wells in a coal seam: one an oxidant injection well, the other the syngas producer well. Source: CIRI. Click to enlarge. Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI), an Alaska Native corporation, is proposing an underground coal gasification (UCG) project that would use the resulting syngas to... Read more →


Illustration of the carbon capture plant. Click to enlarge. A pilot project by We Energies, Alstom and The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) testing an Alstom advanced chilled ammonia process (earlier post) has demonstrated more than 90% capture of carbon dioxide from the flue stream of a coal-fueled power plant... Read more →


Accelergy’s Integrated Coal to Liquids platform is the basis for the Integrated Carbon to Liquids initiative. Source: Accelergy. Click to enlarge. Accelergy Corporation, an advanced coal-to-liquids company, and A2BE Carbon Capture LLC, an algae photobioreactor company, have formed the Carbon Cycle Technology Alliance to commercialize a platform for Integrated Carbon... Read more →


Shell Coal Gasification Process. Source: Shell. Click to enlarge. Shell (China) Limited and Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Co. Ltd. (Shenhua) have agreed to seek opportunities for conducting joint research and development in advanced coal technology. Additionally, Shell Global Solutions International B.V. (Shell) also qualified three Chinese companies for... Read more →


The RTI/Eastman syngas cleanup technology platform. Click to enlarge. Extending a relationship of more than a decade, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International will collaborate on a project designed to advance the development of coal power plants with near-zero emissions by reducing the cost... Read more →


DOE to Award Up to $5M in Grants for R&D on Hydrogen Production from Coal

The US Department of Energy has issued up to a $5-million Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000103) to solicit laboratory-level R&D projects to develop novel technologies for producing hydrogen from coal. The program, which is an initiative supportive of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Fuels/Hydrogen Program Area, is seeking applications in... Read more →


Simplified UCG process. Click to enlarge. The Government of Alberta, Canada, through the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI), is providing C$8.83 million (US$7.0 million) toward a $30-million underground coal gasification (UCG) project with Swan Hills Synfuels of Calgary. Swan Hills Synfuels expects the project to demonstrate the ability to manufacture... Read more →


Assessing the Impact of Global Peak Oil on the Climate

Atmospheric carbon dioxide changes over time for the study’s five fossil fuel scenarios: business-as-usual (a), coal phase-out (b) and oil use and supply (c-e). Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA/Kharecha and Hansen A new paper by Pushker Kharecha and James Hansen at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia... Read more →


DOE to Provide $36 Million to Advance Carbon Dioxide Capture from Coal-Fired Power Plants

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will provide $36 million for 15 projects aimed at furthering the development of new and cost-effective technologies for the capture of carbon dioxide from the existing fleet of coal-fired power plants. Research areas supported in the award include membrane technology; solvents; solid sorbents; oxycombustion,... Read more →


DOE to Invest Approximately $1.3B to Commercialize CCS Technology in Revamped FutureGen Program

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to invest in multiple commercial-scale Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) or other advanced coal power plants with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology under the Department’s restructured FutureGen program. (Earlier post.) The solicitation is seeking multiple cost-shared... Read more →


Senators Introduce Bill to Increase Domestic Oil and Natural Gas Production; Coal-Derived Fuel Mandate

US Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, introduced the American Energy Production Act of 2008 (S.2958) to increase domestic production of oil and natural gas and to fund the development of oil shale and coal-to-liquids technology. Eighteen other senators co-sponsored. Included in... Read more →


Sasol 100% CTL Synthetic Jet Fuel Approved for Use Internationally in Commercial Aviation

Sasol’s synthetic jet fuel is derived from four synthetic streams: Iso-paraffinic kerosene, Heavy naptha kerosene, Light distillate #1 and Naptha #2. Click to enlarge. Sasol’s synthetic jet fuel, produced by its proprietary Coal to Liquids (CTL) process, has received approval for full, unblended use in international commercial aviation. Sasol’s fully... Read more →


DOE Restructures Its Approach to FutureGen

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is restructuring its commitment and approach to the planned $1.5-billion FutureGen project, which would have resulted in the construction and operation of a prototype 275 MW plant that would co-produce electricity and hydrogen from coal with essentially zero emissions, including carbon dioxide emissions, which... Read more →


BP Reinforces Commitment to China With Series of Agreements; Coal Conversion, Wind, Acetic Acid

BP has signed a series of agreements in China involving the strategic integration and commercialization of coal conversion technologies; wind power generation; and world-class acetic acid production. The British Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown and the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, as well as officials from both the British... Read more →


FutureGen Plant to Be Sited in Mattoon, Illinois

Overview of technologies and process for the FutureGen coal plant. Click to enlarge. The FutureGen Alliance has selected Mattoon, Illinois as the site to host the FutureGen power plant. FutureGen is a prototype coal-based plant intended to establish the technical feasibility and economic viability of co-producing electricity and hydrogen from... Read more →


EU Research Project on Pre-Combustion Carbon Capture for Coal- and Gas-Fired Plants

Simplified process diagram of pre-combustion concept. Click to enlarge. Source: ENCAP Norway’s SINTEF will lead a European research project on advanced pre-combustion CO2 capture for coal- and gas-fired power stations. The DECARBit project, which will be coordinated by SINTEF Energy Research, will last for four years, with a total budget... Read more →


China and UK Launch Near Zero Emissions Coal Phase 1 Study

The governments of China and the UK formally launched the Near Zero Emissions Coal (NZEC) Phase 1 study in Beijing, China. The aim of the Phase 1 appraisal study is to look at the feasibility of building coal-fired power plants in China fitted with CO2 capture and storage (CCS). NZEC... Read more →


NRG and Powerspan Announce Large-Scale Demonstration of Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) for Coal-Fired Power Plants

Layout of an integrated ECO-ECO2 installation for pollution control and carbon capture. Click to enlarge. NRG Energy, Inc. and Powerspan Corp. will work together to demonstrate at commercial scale Powerspan’s ammonia-based carbon dioxide capture technology, called ECO2 (earlier post) from a conventional coal-fired electric power plant. Under a memorandum of... Read more →


BASF, RWE Power and Linde Developing New Processes for CO2 Capture in Coal-Fired Power Plants

BASF, RWE Power and the Linde Group are cooperating to develop and deploy new processes for CO2 capture from flue gases in coal-fired power plants. The partners are targeting removal and subsequent underground storage of more than 90% of CO2. Their cooperation includes the construction and operation of a pilot... Read more →


Two Approaches for Converting Papermaking Waste into Fuels: Cellulosic Ethanol and DME

At the 234th meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston this week, two different teams of researchers reported on their approaches for converting the waste from the paper industry into fuels. Researchers at Dartmouth are engineering xylose-fermenting microbes to simultaneously saccharify and co-ferment paper sludge to ethanol. Researchers at... Read more →


Researchers Exploring New Refinery-Based Coal-to-Liquids Pathways for Jet Fuel and Other Products

Researchers at Penn State University are investigating several coal-to-liquid processes that differ from traditional direct (Bergius) and indirect (Fischer-Tropsch) liquefaction. The new pathways could introduce coal-derived chemicals or coal into existing oil refinery operations for the production of end products including jet fuel, gasoline, diesel, heating oil and carbon anodes.... Read more →


DOE and Conoco-Phillips Fund Research on Conversion of Coal-Derived Syngas to Ethanol

The US Department of Energy (DOE) and Conoco-Phillips are providing US$2.9 million in funding for a research effort by Louisiana State University, Clemson University and Oak Ridge National Laboratories to convert coal-derived syngas to ethanol. (Earlier post.) The coal-derived syngas will be produced using Conoco-Phillips’ EGAS technology. James Goodwin, Chairman... Read more →


BP and Powerspan Collaborate to Demonstrate and Commercialize CO2 Capture Technology for Coal-Fired Power Plants

A NETL evaluation of an aqueous ammonia solution developed in cooperation with Powerspan found that integrated multi-pollutant reduction (Case 5) improves the cost picture without an efficiency penalty. Click to enlarge. Data: NETL BP Alternative Energy and Powerspan Corp. are working together to develop and commercialize Powerspan’s ammonia-based carbon dioxide... Read more →


Peabody and ConocoPhillips Exploring Development of Coal to Synthetic Natural Gas Project

The methanation pathway for the production of SNG. Click to enlarge. Peabody Energy and ConocoPhillips are exploring the development of a commercial scale coal-to-substitute natural gas (SNG) facility using proprietary ConocoPhillips E-GAS gasifier technology. The project would be developed as a mine-mouth facility at a location where Peabody has access... Read more →


Chinese Researchers Advance Underground Coal Gasification

Structure of the experimental gasifer. Click to enlarge. Researchers in China are reporting the development and successful field-testing of an improved method for an underground coal gasification (UCG) process that could lead to more economical operation. The researchers describe their work in a paper in the 18 July issue of... Read more →


First Commercial Coal-Bed Methane Project in India Begins Production and Sales

GEECL CBM will serve customers in the West Bengal region. Click to enlarge. Source: GEECL Great Eastern Energy Corporation Ltd (GEECL) has begun the production and sale of coal-bed methane (CBM), the first such commercial project in India. GEECL is targeting initial production of 1.5 million standard cubic feet per... Read more →


BP and LLNL Sign Technical Cooperation Agreement on Underground Coal Gasification for Fuels Production

Layout of a UCG well for the LLNL CRIP process. Click to enlarge. BP and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have signed a technical agreement to work cooperatively on the development of underground coal gasification (UCG) technology for the in-situ conversion of coal deposits into fuels and other products. At... Read more →


Update on the US Senate Energy Bill, Part 3; 44 Billion Gallon RFS, $10.2 Billion for Lower GHG Coal Projects

The conventional and advanced biofuels portions of the original language and the new Coleman amendment. Click to enlarge. Although the volume of new amendments introduced to the energy bill under discussion on the Senate floor decreased on Friday, there were several major proposals. An amendment (SA 1612) by Senator Norm... Read more →


CMU: Plug-in Hybrids “More Sensible” Use of Coal Than Coal-to-Liquids

Comparing life cycle CO2 emissions from plug-in hybrids, coal-to-liquids gasoline, and conventional gasoline. Click to enlarge. A study from the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center (CEIC) concludes that while enacting policies to subsidize the production of coal-to-liquids transportation fuel would enhance national security by lowering oil imports, encouraging plug-in hybrids... Read more →


SES and Golden Concord Sign Joint Venture Contract to Build Coal Gasification, Methanol and DME Plant in China

Synthesis Energy Systems, a coal gasification company, and Inner Mongolia Golden Concord (Xilinhot) Energy Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Golden Concord Holdings Ltd., a private provider of electricity, steam and chilling water in China, have signed a co-operative joint venture contract to build an integrated coal gasification plant and methanol... Read more →


Southern California Edison Requests Regulatory Approval for Hydrogen-Fueled Power Generation with CCS

The Clean Hydrogen Power Generation process. Click to enlarge. Edison International’s electricity utility Southern California Edison (SCE), has requested state regulatory approval to conduct the nation’s first feasibility assessment of Clean Hydrogen Power Generation (CHPG) in a full-scale, 600 MW commercial generating facility. SCE’s CHPG will gassify coal to produce... Read more →


BP and Rio Tinto Form JV for Hydrogen-Fueled Power Generation with CCS

BP and Rio Tinto have formed a new jointly-owned company, Hydrogen Energy, which will develop “decarbonized” energy projects around the world. The venture will initially focus on hydrogen-fueled power generation, using fossil fuels and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Decarbonized energy projects convert fossil fuel feedstocks such as coal,... Read more →


SES and YIMA Sign Agreement for Coal-to-DME Plant in China

Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (SES), a coal gasification company, and Yima Coal Industry Group Co., Ltd. (YIMA), a large Chinese integrated coal company, have signed a preliminary agreement to establish a joint venture company to build and operate a new integrated coal gasification to methanol to Dimethyl Ether (DME) plant.... Read more →


MIT Blueprint for Coal Identifies Carbon Capture and Sequestration as Essential

Process flow diagram for coal-to-liquids production with associated carbon dioxide emissions. Click to enlarge. Leading academics from an interdisciplinary MIT panel issued a report last week that examines how the world can continue to use coal in a way that mitigates, instead of worsens, the global warming crisis. Led by... Read more →


Ethanol Plant Co-Located with Coal Power Plant Begins Operation

Headwaters Incorporated and Great River Energy, an energy provider headquartered in Elk River, Minnesota, announced today the start-up of Blue Flint Ethanol LLC in Underwood, ND. The ethanol plant is co-located with the 1,100 MW Coal Creek Station and will use excess heat from the adjacent power plant to process... Read more →


China Joins FutureGen; Signs Efficiency and Renewable Energy Protocol with US

China will join the Government Steering Committee of the FutureGen project, thereby making China the third country to join the United States in the FutureGen International Partnership. India joined in April 2006 and South Korea joined the FutureGen initiative in June 2006. The US and China also signed an Energy... Read more →