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WUSTL joins U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center


By Beth Miller

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. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, PhD, and the Chinese Minister of Science & Technology Wan Gang, PhD, lead the steering committee that oversees the CERC.

As a member-at-large, Washington University’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 says.

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, and the China consortium is led by Zheng Chuguang, PhD, professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 82 tenured/tenure-track and 40 additional full-time faculty, 1,300 undergraduate students, 700 graduate students and more than 23,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.


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