University Coal Research
Advanced coal research by students
University Coal Research Winning Projects

The University Coal Research (UCR) Program provides grants to U.S. universities to support fundamental research that cuts across NETL’s research focus areas and improves fossil energy technologies. Its primary purpose is to improve the fundamental scientific and technical understanding of the chemical and physical processes involved in conversion and utilization of coal.

Since the program’s inception by Congressional direction in 1980, more than $100 million has been provided and more than 1,700 students have acquired invaluable experience in understanding the science and technology of coal. Thanks to UCR research grants, industry is now using this generation of new technology and knowledge. Success stories include hydrogen separation membranes and computational fluid dynamics models.


University Coal Research Program Goals:

  • To sustain a national university program of research in energy and environmental science and engineering related to coal that focuses on innovative and fundamental investigations pertinent to coal conversion and utilization.
  • To provide a future supply of coal scientists and engineers through research exposure to coal technologies while advancing the science of clean energy from coal.
  • To improve our fundamental scientific and technical understanding of chemical and physical processes involved in the conversion and utilization of coal, one of our nation's most abundant natural resources, and its byproducts.

To accomplish the goals of the UCR program, faculty members and their institutions are encouraged to undertake fundamental research that is relevant to Fossil Energy’s coal-related applied research programs as identified in the program solicitation.