Washington University joins U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center

Washington University in St. Louis has joined an international group of researchers working to make great strides in advanced coal technologies.

The university is now part of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center-Advanced Coal Technology Consortium (CERC-ACTC), a group of U.S. and Chinese universities, research organizations and industrial partners designed to advance technology and practices associated with coal utilization and carbon capture, utilization and storage. The U.S. and China represent the two largest coal-producing and -consuming nations, and members of the consortium are working together to develop new technologies to improve environmental performance and efficiencies.

President Barack Obama and then-Chinese President Hu Jintao launched the consortium in November 2009 with a five-year, $150 million commitment to build on the more than 30 years of science and technology collaboration between the two countries. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, PhD, and the Chinese minister of science and technology, Wan Gang, PhD, lead the steering committee that oversees the CERC.

As a member-at-large, WUSTL’s Richard Axelbaum, PhD, the Stifel & Quinette Jens Professor of Environmental Engineering Science, will evaluate staged oxy-fuel combustion for carbon dioxide capture from coal-fired power plants.

“We are honored to have been invited to join the CERC-ACTC and look forward to working with other members of the consortium to advance technologies for the clean utilization of coal,” Axelbaum said.

Other research taking place within the consortium includes advanced power generation; clean coal conversion technologies; pre- and post-combustion capture; CO2 utilization; CO2 sequestration, simulation and assessment; and communication and integration.

The U.S. Advanced Coal Technology Consortium is led by Jerald Fletcher, PhD, professor of environmental and natural resource economics at West Virginia University; the China consortium is led by Zheng Chuguang, PhD, professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology.