Professor Gary Rochelle Accepts $500,000 From Luminant for Carbon Program
In support of new and emerging solutions to produce even cleaner power for the future, Texas power generation company Luminant has given $500,000 to The University of Texas at Austin’s Luminant Carbon Management Program headed by chemical engineering Professor Gary Rochelle. This brings the company’s total program contribution to $2.3 million over five years.
Founded in January 2007, the program offers Ph.D. candidates at the university an opportunity to conduct research in carbon capture and storage, a process that removes carbon dioxide from coal-fired flue gas and stores it safely underground. To date, seven students have graduated from the program and 17 are now participating.
“These results reaffirm our enthusiasm for the program and the long-term impacts we believe it can have on our industry,” said Steve Horn, Luminant vice president of engineering and technology. “As Texas’ largest power generator, we are committed to funding the research of emerging technology such as this. We are hopeful that the research conducted in this program will help the energy industry move forward in an even more environmentally friendly manner.”
Dr. Gary Rochelle, the Carol and Henry Groppe Professor of Chemical Engineering, is pleased with the program’s success. “Through their research, our students have identified a new carbon capture process and are now working to find a way to make the process less energy intensive, which will have additional positive environmental impacts.”
Among the research advancements enabled by Luminant’s funding, Rochelle and his team have developed a more stable and less energy-intensive method for removing carbon dioxide from coal-fired flue gas. The method uses aqueous piperazine, an organic compound that acts as a solvent, to absorb carbon dioxide from the gas.
Luminant’s dedication to the program has also helped prompt more than 30 other companies to sign on as industrial associates with commitments of $25,000 per year.
Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH), is a competitive power generation business, including mining, wholesale marketing and trading, and development operations. Luminant has more than 15,400 megawatts of generation in Texas, including 2,300 MW fueled by nuclear power and 8,000 MW fueled by coal. The company is also the largest purchaser of wind-generated electricity in Texas and fifth largest in the United States. EFH is a Dallas-based energy holding company that has a portfolio of competitive and regulated energy subsidiaries, primarily in Texas. Visit www.luminant.com or www.energyfutureholdings.com for more information.