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Universities Awarded Clean Coal Research Grants

Coal train (


The U.S. Department of Energy says 10 universities will receive grants for research on the development of clean coal technologies. Each grant of about $300,000 will be supplemented with additional funds from the schools, for a total research budget of $3.1 million.

The grants are expected to support research on high-pressure corrosion-resistant alloys, protective coatings, and structural materials for advanced coal-fired power plants and gas turbines. Research projects also plan to develop new processes and computational design methods to develop these materials, as well as improve efficiency and reduce the costs of cleaner power generation systems.

Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, University of Indiana in Indianapolis, and Brown University in Providence will conduct research on new alloys need in advanced ultrasupercritical (AUSC) coal-fired power plants to improve generation efficiency, use less coal and release less carbon pollution. The boilers in these advanced plants require materials with high-temperature oxidation, corrosion, and deformation resistance. These selected projects are expected to develop new surface modification techniques or optimize existing techniques for the protection of high-temperature alloys used in AUSC boilers.

Texas Engineering Experiment Station in College Station, Ohio State University in Columbus, University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, University of North Texas in Denton, and University of Idaho in Moscow will conduct studies on iron-based and stainless steel alloys needed to increase the operating temperature limits of the currently used alloy families in AUSC boilers and steam turbines. Better methods are also needed to design and predict the mechanical, oxidation, and corrosion behavior of structural materials in these high-temperature, high-pressure environments. North Texas and Idaho will divide one of the grants.

University of Toledo in Ohio will devise material processing techniques for the development and evaluation of two new groups of oxygen carrier materials. Oxygen carriers are considered key to efficient and inexpensive CO2 capture technologies and biofuel conversion for fossil-fuel industries. However, the availability of feasible oxygen carrier materials is a continuing challenge.

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