Promote the efficient use of fossil resources, conversion, extraction, utilization, and environmental management

Understanding the current and future needs of our nation, our state, and the world, the WVU Energy Institute focuses WVU’s research in Fossil Energy in these areas of emphasis:

Fossil Energy Centers and consortia at WVU

Center / Program Description

Mountains of Excellence: Shale

Responsible use of shale gas is one of WVU’s five “Mountains of Excellence,” or research areas of focus. WVU is committed to expanding education, research and outreach on technical aspects of shale gas development. The university’s goal is wise use of our natural resources while protecting our societal and environmental resources.

The WVU unconventional resource initiative is internally funded by WVU. It remains independent, but seeks and utilizes external funding from government, industry and non-governmental organizations.

Advanced Power & Electricity Research Center (APERC)

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APERC capitalizes on the challenge of change. Our focus is on innovations in system-wide control using operational and economic data to allow companies to be profitable in a competitive market. We are interested equally in controls to ensure system reliability and availability for large-scale systems such as the transmission grid and for small-scale systems such as those found on warships. Optimal control designs can enhance power reliability when natural causes or human attacks occur.

Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas Research Consortium (AONGRC)

A group that has conducted multidisciplinary research in petroleum and natural gas technology since 1989 in partnership with the WVU Department of Geology and Geography in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering in WVU’s College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, along with the state geological surveys of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky and New York.

Coal and Energy Research Bureau (CERB)

In 1998 the State of West Virginia Legislature recreated, with the assistance of West Virginia Coal Association and West Virginia Mining and Reclamation Association, the Coal and Energy Research Bureau (H.B. 4564) and defined its objectives, membership and funding. 


  1. Development of new, safer and more economical ways to mine, transport and use coal, consider environmental problems created through the use and production of coal;
  2. Develop new uses and markets for coal, other energy fuels and allied minerals;
  3. Develop greater efficiency and conservation in the mining and mineral industries, and make such tests and investigations as may be required by the Office of Miner’s Health, Safety and Training in the prosecution of its work; and
  4. Conduct such experiments, tests and activities as will promote the development of the mineral industries in the state.

Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions (CAFEE)
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A non-profit research center operating within academic surroundings, CAFEE is a $4 million annual enterprise within the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. The CAFEE staff works extensively on emission reduction research — particularly engine technologies, post-combustion technologies, after-treatment evaluation, and fuel technologies.

Industries of the Future West Virginia (IOFWV) IOF-WV logo

Industries of the Future – West Virginia is a partnership program with the goal to save energy, reduce waste, and improve productivity in the country’s most energy-intensive industries. IOF-WV teams work with companies to assess high priority research needs and develop projects that improve energy efficiency and environmental performance.

National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) NAFTC logo

A pioneer and national leader in developing, managing, and promoting programs and activities that desire to cure America’s addiction to oil, lead to energy independence, and encourage the greater use of cleaner transportation. The NAFTC is the only nationwide alternative fuel vehicle and advanced technology vehicle training organization in the United States.

National Institute of Fuel Cell Technology (NIFT)
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Through our multi-disciplinary, multi-scale research program, NIFT strives to make fuel cells an affordable, efficient, and clean source of energy. Our strengths are in: applying nano-technology to develop and fabricate materials for advanced coal-based fuel cells; establishing a state-of-the-art material characterization and fuel cell testing laboratory; and modeling fuel cell performance from atomistic to continuum scale using high performance computing. To guide our research activities, we have established cooperative relationships with industrial organizations and DOE national labs including the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) located in Morgantown, WV.

National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE)
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The National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE), which is located at West Virginia University, is a research center and information clearinghouse dedicated to securing our nation’s energy needs, protecting our environment and promoting our economic development.

The NRCCE mission is to create and disseminate knowledge and technologies in: 

  1. The development, delivery, and use of clean, efficient, abundant energy and the delivery, use and protection of water quality and quantity; 
  2. The protection of air quality through energy conservation, enhancements in energy efficiency, improvements in environmental performance of energy technology, and the use of alternative fuel sources for transportation; and 
  3. The protection and restoration of the environment, especially in mining and industrial applications, and in rural residential settings.

Natural Resource Analysis Center (NRAC)
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The Natural Resource Analysis Center (NRAC) provides geospatially-based research, teaching and service focused on environmental and natural resource issues for West Virginia, the surrounding Appalachian region, and beyond. NRAC is a multi-disciplinary research and teaching facility within the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, originally established in 1990. For over 20 years, NRAC research, service, and teaching activities have complemented work within the College in many fields. Areas of expertise at NRAC include landscape analysis, watershed-based modeling and applications, remote sensing, spatial decision support, energy issues, and economic development.

Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (PTTC)
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The Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (PTTC) is a national not-for-profit organization established by the Department of Energy and led by an independent Board of Directors. PTTC was established to provide a forum for transfer of technology and best-practices within the producer community. Regional lead organizations and our board of directors ensure that PTTC activities in a particular region address the technology needs of producers in that area.

U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center’s Advanced Coal Technology Consortium (CERC-ACTC)
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The Advanced Coal Technology consortium addresses technology and practices for advanced coal utilization and carbon capture, utilization, and storage. Joint research is conducted in the following areas: advanced power generation, clean coal conversion technology, pre-combustion capture, post-combustion capture, oxy-combustion capture, CO2 sequestration, CO2 utilization, simulation and assessment, and communication and integration.

WV Water Research Institute (WVWRI)

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The West Virginia Water Research Institute (WVWRI), a program of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at West Virginia University, has been in existence since 1967 and serves as a statewide vehicle for performing research related to water issues. WVWRI serves as the coordinating body for the following programs: the National Mine Land Reclamation Center, Appalachian Clean Streams Initiative, Acid Drainage Technology Initiative, Water Resources Research, Environmental Technology Division, Geotechnical Engineering, Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center, and Hydrology Research Center.

WVU Shale Gas Center
WVU Shale Gas Center logo

The WVU Shale Gas Center, located in the  Benajmin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, conducts research in the gas, oil and chemical fields. Our research includes broad areas that cover catalysis, reaction engineering, material science, power generation and gas turbines. We aim to stimulate the economic well-being in both West Virginia and across the globe through technical innovation, knowledge creation and educational excellence.

Zero Emissions Research and Technology Center (ZERT)
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The Zero Emission Research and Technology Center (ZERT) is a research collaborative focused on understanding the basic science of underground (geologic) carbon dioxide storage to mitigate greenhouse gasses from fossil fuel use and to develop technologies that can ensure the safety and reliability of that storage. ZERT is a partnership involving DOE laboratories (Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) as well as universities (Montana State and West Virginia University).