University of Illinois to receive Energy Frontier Research Center awards

June 24, 2014

U of I to Receive Energy Frontier Research Center Awards One newly funded center, four sub-awards highlight range of campus expertise in energy generation, carbon storage, and transport

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced 32 new and continuing multiyear, multimillion-dollar Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs)--and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is involved in five of them.

The "Center for Geologic Storage of CO2," which will be led by Robert J. Finley at the U of I's Prairie Research Institute, will work to reduce uncertainties surrounding carbon dioxide storage by objectively analyzing early results from current field demonstrations. Ultimately, the project seeks to illuminate potential "showstoppers" for real-world, commercial-scale CO2 storage projects.

The Center will receive funding for four years and involves a number of academic and not-for-profit research partners, including the University of Texas at Austin, Brigham Young University, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Indiana University, the University of Southern California, Wright State University, NORSAR, and SINTEF. Each are vital to the success of the project, which will uniquely link staff with expertise in basic science with staff who have experience applying current industry technology at the management, engineer, and scientist level.

"The Center for Geologic Storage of CO2 will build on our applied CO2 injection projects by focusing on new models of reservoir-seal geologic storage systems to help reduce uncertainty in our knowledge in such systems," Finley said. "Our objective is to advance understanding of the basic science that will improve the safety and effectiveness of subsurface carbon storage."

According to the DOE, EFRC awards are geared to accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to build the 21st-century energy economy. This is the second round of funding for EFRCs, and research supported by this initiative will enable fundamental advances in energy production, storage, and environmental mitigation.

"Managing our nation's energy needs is one of the most pressing societal issues that we face," said Peter Schiffer, the Vice Chancellor for Research at Illinois. "I'm proud that the U of I is playing such a large role in the important work that will enable new scientific discovery and critical new advances in energy research."

In addition to the CO2 storage project, U of I researchers are also involved in the following EFRC projects:

Center for Emergent Superconductivity, led by Brookhaven National Laboratory Center for Electrical Energy Storage, led by Argonne National Laboratory Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion, led by Caltech

The U of I is a national leader in energy research, a vital area as the world's population grows and economies become more industrialized, said Evan DeLucia, Director of the University's new Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE).

"Managing human-caused climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, and weaning society from its dependence on fossil fuel for energy is critical step in meeting this challenge," DeLucia said. "Taking active measures to prevent carbon dioxide from accumulating in the atmosphere by storing it below ground will buy us time as we ramp up the use of renewable energy.

"Finley's team is the preeminent group globally exploring the potential for sequestering carbon dioxide deep below the earth's surface. With new support from the Department of Energy, this group will provide us with much-needed answers to the question of how to slow the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere."

The funded projects were selected from more than 200 proposals. Ten are new, while the rest received renewed funding based both on their achievements to date and the quality of their proposals for future research. Awards range from $2 million to $4 million per year per center for up to four fiscal years, subject to a progress review in Year 2.
-end-
For more information about the EFRCs, see the DOE website at http://science.energy.gov/bes/efrc/

Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois

Related Carbon Storage Articles from Brightsurf:

The biggest trees capture the most carbon: Large trees dominate carbon storage in forests
A recent study examining carbon storage in Pacific Northwest forests demonstrated that although large-diameter trees (21 inches) only comprised 3% of total stems, they accounted for 42% of the total aboveground carbon storage.

Carbon storage from the lab
Researchers at the University of Freiburg established the world's largest collection of moss species for the peat industry and science

Metal wires of carbon complete toolbox for carbon-based computers
Carbon-based computers have the potential to be a lot faster and much more energy efficient than silicon-based computers, but 2D graphene and carbon nanotubes have proved challenging to turn into the elements needed to construct transistor circuits.

Microbiologists clarify relationship between microbial diversity and soil carbon storage
In what they believe is the first study of its kind, researchers led by postdoctoral researcher Luiz A.

Size matters for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage
New research has shown that Drax power station in North Yorkshire is the optimal site for the carbon capture and storage facilities that will be needed reduce carbon emissions and achieve the targets of 2016 Paris Climate Agreement.

Bedrock type under forests greatly affects tree growth, species, carbon storage
A forest's ability to store carbon depends significantly on the bedrock beneath, according to Penn State researchers who studied forest productivity, composition and associated physical characteristics of rocks in the Appalachian ridge and Valley Region of Pennsylvania.

Long-living tropical trees play outsized role in carbon storage
A group of trees that grow fast, live long lives and reproduce slowly account for the bulk of the biomass -- and carbon storage -- in some tropical rainforests, a team of scientists says in a paper published this week in the journal Science.

Can wood construction transform cities from carbon source to carbon vault?
A new study by researchers and architects at Yale and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research predicts that a transition to timber-based wood products in the construction of new housing, buildings, and infrastructure would not only offset enormous amounts of carbon emissions related to concrete and steel production -- it could turn the world's cities into a vast carbon sink.

Addressing committed emissions in both US and China requires carbon capture and storage
While the energy systems of the two highest-emitting countries differ, each needs to develop CCS to address their committed emissions, which threaten global climate targets.

Investigation of oceanic 'black carbon' uncovers mystery in global carbon cycle
An unexpected finding published today in Nature Communications challenges a long-held assumption about the origin of oceanic black coal, and introduces a tantalizing new mystery: If oceanic black carbon is significantly different from the black carbon found in rivers, where did it come from?

Read More: Carbon Storage News and Carbon Storage Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.