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Projects Resulting From STAC Solicitation 04-STAC-01 Energy Efficiency and Fossil Energy Science

The projects are grouped in five categories, Materials Sciences, Fuels and Chemical Sciences, Sensors and Controls Sciences, Energy Conversion Sciences, and Emissions Reduction and Environmental Sciences. Additional information on the projects, such as abstracts and project news can be found under the links for each project.

Materials Sciences

1. Preventing Solidification Defects in Large Superalloy Castings Used in Advance Electric Power Systems

This two-year project will develop improved methodologies for preventing macrosegregation in superalloy remelting processes. A combination of theoretical modeling and physical experimentation will address the weakness in existing models. The ultimate goal is development of a predictive technology that can be applied commercially to prevent solidification defects in large superalloy castings used in advanced energy systems. Improvement in these alloys has been identified by the Department of Energy (DOE) as a critical enabling technology for such systems.

West Virginia University Research Corp. on behalf of West Virginia University
West Virginia University Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
PO Box 6106
Morgantown, WV 26506
(304) 293-3111 x2324
Contact: Xingbo Liu
Email: [email protected]


GE Energy
Special Metals Corp.
Pennsylvania State University

Fuels and Chemical Sciences

2. Development of a Pilot Scale Module for Hydrogen Separation

This two-year project will advance a selected hydrogen membrane technology to the pilot scale matching the requirements identified in the solicitation and then demonstrate that module. The membrane will consist of a thin film palladium alloy composite with either porous ceramic or porous metal substrate tubes. The proposed effort will optimize synthesis parameters for the membranes to reduce cost as well as meet performance characteristics and make them robust, durable in the long-term, and tolerant to impurities including sulfur species typically present in synthesis gases derived from a variety of feedstocks. The proposed development is applicable to both distributed and central station power generation.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
17 Columbia Circle
Albany, NY 12203-6399
(518) 862-1090 ext 3317
Contact: Bill Reinhardt
Email: [email protected]

North Carolina State Energy Office
Research Triangle Institute
Pall Corporation

3. Iron-Based Mixed Metal Carbide Fischer-Tropsch Catalysts

This three-year project will assess the performance of iron-based bimetallic catalysts formed in the carbide state at reaction temperatures and conditions rather than in their metallic state. It is expected that activity of the catalysts will be improved, and the rate of deactivation slowed, thus improving both the conversion rates in the process and the longevity of the catalyst. The resulting catalysts will be subjected to detailed testing and compared to a benchmark catalyst to evaluate commercial potential. These iron-based catalysts are crucial to Fischer-Tropsch synthesis of clean fuels, additives, and lubricants derived from gasification of both coal and biomass resources.

Clemson University
Department of Chemical Engineering
Clemson, SC 29634-0909
Grand Forks, ND 58202
(864) 656-6614
Contact: James A. Goodwin, Jr.
Email: [email protected]

Louisiana State University

Süd-Chemie, Inc.

South Carolina Energy Office
Louisiana Energy Office

Sensors and Controls Sciences

4. Utilizing the National Corn-to-Ethanol Pilot Plant to Develop a Predictive Model for Distillers Dried Grain for the Fuel Ethanol and Animal Feed Industries

This two-year project will develop and validate a neural network predictive plant model for the composition of Distillers Dried Grain with Solubles (DDGS), a coproduct from the dry grind fuel ethanol process. The research will identify, develop, install, and test appropriate plant sensors and controls critical to the determination of the quality and composition of DDGS. Constantly produced quality DDGS will add value to ethanol process plants and create opportunities for added sustainable “biorefinery” products. Validation of the model will take place through repeated testing at a pilot scale ethanol facility.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville: National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center
400 University Park Drive
Edwardsville, IL 62025
(618) 659-6737
Contact: Dr. Martha Schlicher
Email: [email protected]

5. The Use of Real Time Measurement and Artificial Intelligence to Improve Efficiency and Reduce Emissions at Coal-Fired Power Plants

This two-year project will use laser technology to measure the properties of coal in real time and in situ in a coal-fired power plant, and along with other information feed this data to artificial intelligence software to provide operators with the information needed to adjust the operations of the plant to avoid slagging and fouling in the boilers. Operations will be at the laboratory level initially, and later at full scale in a commercial power plant. Projected savings from better plant operation in a 600MW system could be as much as $16 million per year.

Energy Research Company
2571-A Arthur Kill Road
Staten Island, NY 10309
(718) 608-8788
Contact: Robert De Saro
Email: [email protected]

Brayton Point Generating Station - U.S. Gen New England, Inc.
Lehigh University (LU-ERC)



Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri; Department of Chemical Engineering
Emerson Process Management
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

Energy Conversion Sciences

6. Energy Conservation Sciences for Operation and Security of Large-Scale Systems

This twoyear project will investigate methods to: expand research in solid state silicon carbide (SiC) to reduce the size, weight, and cost of power converters for motor drives and distributed power systems; investigate methods of motor control including the advantages of SiC devices; and incorporate results with existing fuel cell testing and modeling to include design and operation of these devices in DG systems and to investigate the control and performance of DG during islanding of an electric power grid. The proposed research is expected to provide significantly improved systems performance and reduced costs as well as improved security to the grid.

Purdue University
465 Northwestern Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2035
Grand Forks, ND 58202
(765) 494-3475
Contact: Oleg Wasynczuk
Email: [email protected]

Wright State University

7. Motor Control and Power Conversion Technologies Using FLEXMOD

This eighteen-month project will develop a flexible, universal, modular inverter platform that can be applied to a range of power supplies from fractional horsepower up to 100kw. A family of inverter products will be developed that share common components and compatibility. High performance permanent magnet motors have high cost and many limitations. Current alternating current (AC) induction motors are widely used for more moderate performance objectives. This project will use advanced technology that can be applied to AC motors to meet the performance characteristics of permanent magnet motors as well as those for current AC motors. The large potential savings in electrical energy and hybrid electric vehicle markets are the targets of this project.

Advanced Energy
909 Capability Drive
Suite 2100
Raleigh, NC 27606
(919) 857-9000
Contact: Ken Dulaney
Email: [email protected]

Raser Technologies, Inc.
Washington State University Energy Program

Emissions Reduction and Reduction and Environmental Sciences

8. Determination of CO2 Storage Capacity and ECBM Potential of Lignite Coals

This two-year project will develop estimates of the gas content and CO2 storage capacity of a particular seam of lignite coal in North Dakota and Montana and determine the potential for application of CO2-based Enhanced Coal Bed Methane Recovery in those coals. The project will identify best practice gas content analysis methods specifically suited to low gas content, low-rank coals which can be used in other coal basins also, particularly in Texas and Alaska. The potential of the North Dakota and Montana seam being investigated is for millions of tons of CO2 sequestration annually.

University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center
15 North 23rd Street
PO Box 9018
Grand Forks, ND 58202
(701) 777-5287
Contact: James A. Sorensen
Email: [email protected]

North Dakota Industrial Commission Oil and Gas Division
North Dakota Department of Commerce
Division of Community Services State Energy Program
Montana Board of Oil and Ga

© 2006 State Technologies Advancement Collaborative
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Last Updated: 10/24/06