GRAND FORKS, ND — The U.S. Department of Energy today announced the award of $2.7 million to help build on hydrogen-from-coal research with the University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC). EERC’s National Center for Hydrogen Technology will focus on obtaining hydrogen from coal, America’s most abundant fossil fuel, and will test a range of technologies, from hydrogen production to transportation to utilization.
Hydrogen has the potential to solve at least two major energy challenges confronting America today: dependence on imported oil and emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants.
The one year cooperative agreement among the University of North Dakota, DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and several industry partners will initiate a diverse research program in pursuit of a hydrogen economy infrastructure.
Research conducted at the center will advance President Bush’s Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, which calls for developing the technology needed for commercially viable hydrogen-powered fuel cells, and FutureGen, an initiative to build the world’s first integrated sequestration and hydrogen production research power plant.
Initial projects will address coal refining, hydrogen carriers, end-of-pipe reforming, and strategic studies to identify the research areas most likely to overcome barriers to the deployment of hydrogen-from-coal technologies.
NETL will provide program oversight for the center’s first year of operation. Industry cost share funding brings the program’s first year total value to $3.4 million.