Hoeven: EERC, Pratt & Whitney Creating New Technology to Drive Energy Production with Better Stewardship

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today joined officials from the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc. (PWR) and other leaders to commission a commercial-scale prototype feed pump system that will help pave the way for more efficient and cleaner gasification of solid fuels, including coal and biomass.  

Hoeven said the new energy prototype, which is a collaboration between the public-sector, private-sector and higher education, demonstrates how improving technology is an important part of national energy policy. He said it’s these kinds of technological innovations that will help to increase energy production in the U.S. while improving environmental stewardship and efficiency. Technological innovation is one component of a national energy security plan that Hoeven is working to build in Congress. 

“The EERC, PWR and their partners are doing tremendous work to improve the efficiency of energy production technologies,” said Hoeven. “Technological advances in our energy sector make enormous contributions to our nation’s energy security and will help us to produce the energy we need now, and in the future, to power our homes and our businesses while also implementing good environmental stewardship.” 

Today’s commissioning resulted from a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE NETL), PWR, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, Albert Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions and the EERC.  These groups joined together to develop and test a commercial-scale prototype feed pump system that advances technology for high-efficiency, low-emission gasification.  The developed prototype feed pump system currently can process 400 tons/day of solid fuels. 

The commissioning ceremony will showcase the dry solids pump developed by PWR to feed a wide range of fuels, including coals, petcoke, and coal–biomass blends at high pressure, according to the EERC. The high pressure allows such solid fuels to be utilized more efficiently and cleanly. The high pressure also allows gasification system equipment to be scaled down in size, reducing the overall cost of the gasification process. PWR’s gasifier operates at about 1200 psi, a higher pressure than any current gasifier in operation, pushing the envelope of gasification. Design of the system was cofunded by DOE NETL, with the understanding that the pump will be made commercially available to U.S. companies in support of several gasification technologies.

EERC Commissioning