WVU to conduct commercial-scale research of clean tech for coal-fired power plants

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. –  West Virginia University researchers are leading commercial-scale research and development of two new innovations at the country’s most efficient coal-fired power plant in Maidsville, West Virginia. The devices, a corrosion sensor invented at WVU and a gas sensor invented at Los Alamos National Laboratory, could make coal combustion more efficient with fewer emissions and fewer unplanned outages saving millions of dollars.

The WVU  Electrochemical Systems Research Center, directed by  Xingbo Liu, plans to conduct experiments of the sensors at Longview Power, LLC’s 700 net megawatt power plant under two projects that total $1.8 million. The projects are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory with matching contributions from the participating organizations. Researchers from WVU, Los Alamos and two private-sector firms are collaborating on the efforts.

Regrowth: WVU biology professor seeks to use reclaimed mines for plant growth

Today, he is studying willow and poplar trees by analyzing their differential sensitivity to soils that are left behind after mining.

“What the research allows us to do is select genotypes that will grow well in West Virginia on abandoned mines or reclaimed mines, so that we can put them in productive use,” Cumming said.      

WVU researchers partner with start-up on natural gas to hydrogen and carbon fiber technology

The availability of unprecedented volumes of shale gas resources present a significant opportunity to develop completely new processes for hydrogen generation.

“Long-term trends show a preference for non-carbon forms of energy. Hydrogen appears to be the most promising and environmentally benign energy source, since it can be converted into electricity and other energy forms with less pollution and high efficiency,” said John Hu, Statler Chair in Engineering for Natural Gas Utilization. “However, the objectives of reduced carbon emissions and enhanced use of hydrogen for fuel are in direct conflict as the most commercially viable method for hydrogen production from natural gas via steam methane reforming, produces large amounts of carbon dioxide.”

Jan.18 webinar on underground storage of natural gas liquids in the Appalachian Basin

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- For the petrochemical industry to grow in the Appalachian Basin, it is important for the natural gas liquids found in the Utica and Marcellus shale gas plays in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia to be immediately available.  Creating a strong infrastructure for the industry is important, including NGLs storage, trading and pipeline infrastructure.

Dr. Douglas Patchen, director, Resource Extraction Division,  National Research Center for Coal and Energy at  West Virginia University will discuss the research involved in determining possible underground storage potential in a webinar conducted by Penn State Extension’s Marcellus Education Team.  Patchen will be joined by Dr. Brian Anderson, director of WVU’s  Energy Institute, to discuss the economic and business potential of creating a storage and trading hub in the Appalachian region.