WASHINGTON, DC - Minority institutions are being asked by the U.S. Department of Energy to propose research and development projects that will assist the nation in achieving its clean air and climate change goals, and help boost declining oil supplies.
Through its Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Other Minority Institutions program, DOE's Office of Fossil Energy is committing approximately $1 million for financial assistance grants in eight technical topic areas. Proposals are due January 6. The department expects to announce six to seven awards in the spring of 2004 ranging in value from $20,000 up to $200,000.
A solicitation, Support of Advanced Fossil Resource Conversion and Utilization Research by Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Other Minority Institutions, is currently available at NETL's Solicitation page.
Projects will be selected and managed by the Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory.
The solicitation addresses eight technical topics:
- Advanced Environmental Control Technologies for Coal - This area focuses on technologies that will mitigate the environmental disadvantages of coal. Of particular interest are technologies to reduce air emissions of mercury, fine particulates (PM2.5) and carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants.
- Advanced Coal Utilization - This topic explores advanced combustion techniques as well as other systems and materials that allow coal to be used more efficiently and more cleanly than in currently deployed conventional systems.
- Clean Fuels Technology - In this area, researchers examine production of premium fuels and products from coal, including technologies related to the economical production of hydrogen.
- Heavy Oil Upgrading and Processing/Oil Sands - This topic focuses on processing or understanding the upgrading of heavy oils to quality transportation fuels in a cost-effective manner. This work will also apply to recovery and upgrading of oil sands resources in the United States.
- Advanced Recovery, Completion/Stimulation, and Geoscience Technologies for Oil - Researchers will be asked to define innovative methods and concepts that will contribute to more efficient, effective, and economical techniques for the recovery of domestic oil in declining fields.
- Natural Gas Exploration, Production and Storage - This topic seeks to develop innovative methods and concepts that will allow more efficient, economical, and environmentally acceptable recovery of natural gas. Novel improvements in recovery techniques could lead to lower production costs and/or greater recovery efficiencies.
- Fuel Cells - Fuel cell technology development seeks to dramatically reduce the cost of solid-oxide fuel cell stacks or increase the efficiency of fuel cell systems. Advances in this topic area should contribute to the department's Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance program goal of developing a solid oxide fuel cell system that can be manufactured for $400/kilowatt by 2010.
- Faculty/Student Exploratory Research Training Grants - These grants provide an opportunity to maximize the participation of students and faculty by addressing a variety of topics. The proposed work can take the form of a novel idea or concept to be tested at a preliminary stage, or it can address a small, unique aspect of a larger problem. Research can continue or expand on previous work, or some other concept; but, the topic must fall within fossil energy research needs.
Because the program is designed to stimulate cooperation between industry and academia, collaboration with private industry is encouraged for the first seven topics. In fact, collaboration that promotes a cooperative or interactive effort between the minority institution and a private sector partner is preferred.
The establishment of links between the schools and private industry will ensure the United States has a continual supply of technically competent managers, scientists, engineers, and technicians.