As part of the Department of Energy's continuing efforts to increase
the involvement of the nation's minority institutions in energy research,
Energy Secretary Bill Richardson today announced that six historically
black universities and other minority institutions will share nearly $1
million in federal funding for fossil energy projects ranging from oil
reservoir characterization to burner design for low-emission burners to
pollution reduction from car engines.
The winning schools are:
A&M University, Prairie View, TX, (2 projects): one
for research into a new way of determining the geologic characteristics
of complex oil reservoirs; the other for testing a new data analysis
technique based on neural networks that could simplify modeling of
the way fuel burns in a compression ignition engine, such as a diesel
of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, TX, for investigating
ways to reduce pollution from natural gas diffusion flames;
Clark Atlanta University,
Atlanta, GA, for research on novel catalysts to enhance heavy oil
Tuskegee, AL, for improving a cleanup process that removes hydrogen
sulfide and trace contaminants from coal gasifier gas;
A&T State University, Greensboro, NC, for helping
decrease the fouling that can occur in membranes used to separate
impurities from gases produced in fossil energy processes;
University, Grambling, LA, for improving the efficiency
of converting certain gases into mixed fuel- or chemical-grade alcohols
"We continue to strengthen America's future energy security not
only by investing in the technologies of tomorrow but in the skills of
the future scientists and engineers who will build and operate these technologies,"
Richardson said. "Our nation's minority institutions have proven
to be valuable partners in our energy research program, and grants like
the ones we are announcing today signify our commitment to enhancing their
This is the ninth year that the Energy Department has provided grants
specifically to the nation's minority universities for research projects
in fossil energy research. With fossil fuels accounting for more than
85 percent of the nation's energy needs, a major focus of the Energy Department
is to support research at the nation's universities on ways to make the
future production and use of coal, oil and natural gas cleaner and more
Brief profiles of the winning projects follow:
Prairie View A&M University, Prairie
Project No. 1 - Professor-student researchers will explore a
new way of characterizing complex oil reservoirs by demonstrating the
advantages and limitations of integrating seismic data. Prairie View A&M
will partner with the Bureau of Economic Geology, a research unit of the
University of Texas at Austin, and Vinos Exploration, an Austin-based
oil and gas company. The project could lead to new insights in ways to
produce more petroleum from the Nation's most difficult oil formations.
Proposed DOE award: $183,482. Project duration: three years. Contact:
Innocent Aluka, 936-857-4510, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project No. 2 - Researchers will use a newly developed data
analysis technique based on neural networks to simplify the way combustion
in a compression ignition direct injection engine can be mathematically
modeled. If successful, the program can be used to design future automotive
engines that produce lower air emissions.
Proposed DOE award: $19,990. Project duration: one year. Contact: Nelson
Butuk, 936-857-4021, e-mail: email@example.com.
The University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg,
Student-teacher teams will study ways to reduce pollution, including carbon
dioxide (a greenhouse gas), from natural gas diffusion flames by changing
the amount of air and the rate at which the air is mixed with the flames.
Sets of constricted tubes of various sizes will be arranged around a gas
jet to achieve a "cascading" effect, which can help optimize
low-emission burner designs.
Proposed DOE award: $19,998; university share: $45,000. Project duration:
one year. Contact: Ala Qubbaj, 956-381-5220, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA:
Students and professors will develop a series of novel catalysts possessing
the right blend of ultra-large, well-defined pores and mild acid strengths
to enhance heavy oil upgrading. If successful, the project could advance
mild hydrocracking technology, leading to lower petroleum refining costs.
Proposed DOE award: $191,996. Project duration: three years. Contact:
Conrad Ingram, 404-880-6848, e-mail: email@example.com.
Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL:
Research teams of students and professors will study a way to improve
a cleanup process that removes hydrogen sulfide and trace impurities from
gas made from coal. The researchers will conduct fundamental measurements
of the kinetics of direct oxidation, which converts hydrogen sulfide (a
pollutant) into elemental sulfur (a commercially valuable product). By
developing ways to model direct oxidation reactions, the research teams
will provide valuable fundamental data for DOE's program to develop a
virtually pollution-free future energy plant (a concept called Vision
Tuskegee University will partner with Research Triangle Institute and
Texaco Proposed DOE award: $191,986; university share: $18,000. Project
duration: three years. Contact: Kyung Kwon, 344-727-8976, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Carolina A&T State University,
Student-teacher teams will develop new ways to help decrease contamination
of membranes used in filtration systems of fossil energy pollution control
and chemical separation processes. By studying the advantages and limitations
of periodic flow reversal on membrane-based separation systems for industrial
applications, the researchers will develop important data that could help
improve the efficiency and environmental performance of future fossil
Proposed DOE award: $191,990. Project duration: three years. Contact:
Shamsuddin Ilias, 336-334-7564, e-mail: email@example.com.
Grambling State University, Grambling,
Research teams of students and teachers will study ways to improve
the efficiency of converting carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen
(which are gases that can be made from coal and other fossil fuels) into
alcohols and liquid fuels that might one day substitute for imported oil.
The researchers will concentrate on synthesizing and studying extremely-fine
metal particle catalysts that can be used in a process called Fischer-Tropsch.
Grambling will partner with Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA, and
Hydrocarbon Technologies Inc. in Lawrenceville, NJ.
award: $191,822; university share: $40,668. Project duration: three years.
Contact: Zhenchen Zhong, 318-274-2289, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.