Carbon Capture and Storage Program Receives $500,000 from Luminant
For a sixth consecutive year, Texas power generation company Luminant has made a significant contribution to The University of Texas at Austin’s Luminant Carbon Management Program led by Professor Gary Rochelle. This year’s $500,000 gift brings the company’s total program contribution to $2.8 million.
Founded in January 2007, the program offers Cockrell School of Engineering doctoral candidates an opportunity to conduct hands-on research in carbon capture and storage, a process that removes carbon dioxide from coal-fired flue gas and stores it safely underground. To date, 14 students have graduated from the program and 17 are currently participating.
“We are extremely proud of the work being done within the Luminant Carbon Management Program and are excited about the long-term benefits this research can have on our industry,” said Steve Horn, Luminant vice president of technology. “We’ve seen the program grow since our involvement in 2007, and we’re exceedingly proud of the research developed in these past few years.”
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 CO2 from coal- fired flue gas, called amine scrubbing. The method uses aqueous piperazine, an organic compound that acts as a solvent, to absorb CO2 from the gas.
Luminant’s commitment 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.
“With Luminant support, we have developed the best academic research program in the world on CO2 capture by amine scrubbing. Our program focuses on the problem with support from the most companies, creates solutions with the largest number of students and produces the most significant research results,” Rochelle said.
Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp., 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 Texas’ largest purchaser of wind-generated electricity in commercial operation and the 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.