Delegation Announces $3 Million in U.S. Energy Department Grant to UND

Federal Funds to Help Advance Cost-Effective Clean Coal Technology

WASHINGTON - Senators John Hoeven and Kent Conrad and Congressman Rick Berg announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a grant of nearly $3 million to the University of North Dakota’s Institute for Energy Studies in Grand Forks to scale up and demonstrate a technology for capturing carbon from coal combustion flue gas.  Industry and UND matching cost share is $738,000.  The total project is $3.69 million. 

Current CO2  capture systems require large amounts of energy for their operation, resulting in decreased efficiency and reduced net power output when compared to plants operating without carbon-capture technologies.  The net electricity produced could be significantly reduced since a percentage of the power generated by the plant would have to be used to capture and compress the CO2

The goal of the research at UND is to test a process that makes carbon capture and sequestration technologies more efficient, thereby reducing costs and helping to make the technology more commercially feasible. Post combustion CO2 capture can be applied to both new and existing plants by adding a “filter or scrubber” that isolates and removes the CO2 from the other gases before it leaves the plant. 

“In order to become a standard part of the coal-powered electrical production process, CO2 capture technology must be made both efficient and affordable,” the delegation said. “With world-class researchers and facilities, the Institute for Energy Studies at UND is well-equipped to develop the technologies that can do it.”