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U.S. Department of Energy Invests $2.5 Million to Support University Training and Research for Decarbonization and Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions Technologies

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) announced $2.5 million in funding for four training and research projects to be conducted at U.S colleges and universities. The projects will support the development of technologies capable of converting natural gas to high-value products, such as fertilizer, antifreeze, pharmaceuticals, and a wide range of chemicals like ammonia, methanol, and propane, and will also promote collaborative work in humanities-driven science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Projects were selected under FECM’s University Coal Research (UCR) program and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Other Minority Institutions (HBCU-OMI) program. These programs serve to educate and train the next generation of engineers and scientists working to advance integrated solutions key to meeting the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“FECM’s University Training and Research programs continue to equip underrepresented, diverse student groups with cutting-edge, translatable skillsets that will help them sustain successful STEM careers,” said Brad Crabtree, Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. “Expanding this training to incorporate social sciences and humanities studies will help to provide an even better understanding of the economic and environmental viability of deploying carbon management projects within our local communities.”

Both the UCR and HBCU-OMI programs are part of FECM’s University Training and Research program, which funds early-stage technology research and development projects in support of revitalizing communities that have historically relied on traditional energy production, industry,  and manufacturing. The program also advances the development of a highly skilled and diverse workforce of scientists, engineers, and managers by increasing the participation of students from underrepresented and historically marginalized communities.

DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), under the purview of FECM, will manage the selected projects:

  • Modular Reactor for Co-Generation of Liquid Chemicals and Electricity from Stranded Natural Gas — Kansas State University (Manhattan, Kansas)
  • Aluminum Critical Mineral Production via Landfill Mining: Environmental, Community, and Technical Feasibility for Integrated Multi-Material Resource Recovery — Michigan Technological University (Houghton, Michigan)
  • Non-Catalytic Pyrolysis of Associated Gas to Zero-CO2 Hydrogen and High Value Carbon Black — University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, North Dakota)
  • Overcoming Technical and Community Barriers to Adopting Gasification Technologies — The University of Texas at El Paso (El Paso, Texas)

A detailed list of the selected projects can be found here.

FECM funds research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects to decarbonize power generation and industrial production, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and mitigate the environmental impacts of fossil fuel production and use. Priority areas of technology work include carbon capture, carbon conversion, carbon dioxide removal, carbon dioxide transport and storage, hydrogen production with carbon management, methane emissions reduction, and critical minerals production. To learn more, visit the FECM websitesign up for FECM news announcements, and visit the NETL website.

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