WASHINGTON, DC - The Department of Energy (DOE) announced today that it has awarded grants to seven institutions for energy research through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Other Minority Institutions (HBCU) program.
"I'm pleased to note the growing interest and participation by HBCU college students in 21st century fossil energy research because the people who will resolve the critical issues of the next century are in college today," said Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. "The opportunities we offer them through this program will not only benefit their educational progress but will help secure our country's energy future."
Carried out under DOE's Office of Fossil Energy, the program gives minority students valuable hands-on experience in developing technologies to promote the efficient and environmentally safe use of coal, oil and natural gas. The projects will be managed by DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory and awards range from $20,000 to $200,000.
The funding opportunity announcement, issued in November 2003, offered financial assistance grants in eight technical topic areas. Three of the grants relate to coal, one each to oil and natural gas, and two that enable faculty and students to conduct exploratory research training as a team.
The selected universities and their projects include:
- Hampton University (Virginia) - Researchers will use a novel absorption process called phase-enhanced absorption to remove carbon dioxide from power plant flue gas and other gas mixtures. The carbon dioxide will be absorbed by the organic mixture, then removed, and the organic mixture will be reused ($199,997; duration: 36 months).
- Tuskegee University (Alabama) - Researchers will work on a new process for removing sulfur from coal gasification gas. The objective is to support near- and long-term DOE efforts to commercialize the Single-Step Sulfur Recovery Process ($200,000; 36 months).
- Morehouse College (Georgia) - Scientists will characterize the shape, size, and movement of biomass particles to provide detailed data similar to that available for coal ($199,954; 36 months).
- Florida International University (Florida) - Researchers will study how microscopic flow mechanisms through tight sand reservoirs affect production performance. Computer modeling will determine rock properties and the fluid it contains to allow economical gas recovery ($111,050; 24 months).
- Prairie View A&M University (Texas) - Researchers will use seismic stratification (sound waves) to identify rock layers in order to improve the ability to predict the location of more productive drilling. This preliminary data will be used by the oil industry to better prospect for oil ($200,000; 36 months).
- California State University (California) - Researchers will explore the use of niobium (V) as a catalyst for efficiently converting small molecules derived from fossil fuels to larger products that can be used in the pharmaceutical industry or by producers of fine chemicals ($20,000; 12 months).
- University of Texas (Texas) - Researchers hope to add a new dimension to DOE's Advanced Power Systems Turbine Program by developing a fundamental understanding of the flashback propensity of syngas in different compositions ($19,999; 12 months)