WASHINGTON, DC -
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the selection of two new projects under the University Coal Research Program, the Department's longest-running student-teacher research grant initiative. The goal of the program, which is now in its 29th year, is to advance new ideas in coal research and provide coal research exposure to a new generation of scientists and engineers.
"I'm pleased to announce the projects that have been selected under this year's call to America's universities for advanced coal research," said James Slutz, acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy. "The innovations coming out of the University Coal Research Program strengthen America's energy security by enabling us to make better use of coal, our most abundant energy resource."
The University Coal Research Program, which is implemented by the Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), requires professors in technical fields such as chemistry and engineering to initiate advanced research with graduate students. Since its inception in 1979, more than 716 research projects have been funded and more than 1,760 students have been given hands-on experience in developing clean and efficient coal technologies.
NETL issued a funding opportunity announcement earlier this year calling for innovative and fundamental research in coal conversion and utilization. Research was limited to a single broad topic: enabling advanced modeling and simulation for fuel-flexible combustors. The projects selected include:
- Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., will determine the ability of simulation to capture fuel variability effects on turbines. Currently, combustor simulations are unable to predict such key features as flame stability and pollutant emissions. Such simulations are critical for optimizing turbine efficiency and minimizing emissions. The new project will resolve these problems and enable large eddy simulation (LES) to be used to optimize turbine design. The optimized turbine-engine design will aid in planning and construction of future turbines by predicting performance for new gasification-created fuels. (DOE award: $276,264)
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Va., will determine the sensitivity of transient thermo-acoustic computational fluid dynamics simulations to poorly defined or misrepresented acoustic boundary conditions. Time-dependent experimental boundary conditions, such as combustor inlets and compressor diffusers, will be simulated and measured experimentally. The study will result in a methodology to measure these experimental boundary conditions, describe them properly in a simulation, and apply them to an analysis of a realistic combustion system. (DOE award: $276,256)