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You are here:  State-by-State Project Profiles > Illinois

DOE Fossil Energy R&D Projects in Illinois


Number of Projects

Total Value*
(Million $)

DOE Share
(Million $)

Job Benefits**

Coal & Power Projects





Oil & Gas Projects***





*Includes DOE and private sector cost-sharing

**An average of 28.5 direct and indirect jobs per $1 million in R&D funding is used based on the Department of Commerce's Regional Input-Output Modeling System II formula.

Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) Studying Materials, Greenhouse Gas Removal, Separation Membranes, Fuel Cells
  • Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Argonne, IL, is conducting 7 research projects, each fully-funded by DOE, with a total combined value of $21.9 million.

    • Understanding Corrosion and Mechanical Properties of Materials in Combustion - The purpose of this project is to: 1) evaluate the corrosion performance of materials in simulated combustion environments for application in advanced steam cycle systems; 2) evaluate the role of deposits containing sulfur and/or chlorine and ash constituents in the corrosion behavior of metallic alloys, selected coatings, and monolithic/composite ceramics; 3) evaluate the residual mechanical properties of materials after exposure in corrosive environments and quantify the effects of corrosion on the properties to enable life prediction of components; and 4) perform corrosion experiments in environments that simulate combustion in enriched oxygen conditions and in CO2 plus steam. DOE is fully funding this $175,000 project.

    • Studies of Above-Ground and Geologic Mineral Sequestration Reactions - The initial goal of this project was to develop the necessary atomic-level understanding of serpentine carbonation reaction processes to enhance carbonation reaction rates and reduce process costs. A subsequent goal is to investigate the fluid-solid reaction mechanisms, product phase equilibria and stability, and fluid speciation, activity and transport that govern the potential that Mg-rich slurry injection offers to enhance seal integrity of saline aquifers for CO2 sequestration via controlled carbonation. DOE is fully funding this $1.682 million project.

    • Hydrogen Production by Water Dissociation Using Ceramic Membranes - This project aims to develop novel, mixed-conducting dense ceramic membranes that can be used to generate hydrogen by water dissociation at moderate temperatures. DOE is fully funding this $1.187 million project.

    • Evaluating CO2 Sequestration Technologies - Concerns over possible global climate changes due to increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases such as CO2 is placing greater emphasis on the development of highly efficient, coal-based power plants and CO2 capture and sequestration. In this fully DOE-funded $2.23 million project, ANL researchers are evaluating CO2 capture and sequestration technologies for integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology. The project researchers will compare new CO2 sequestration technologies against currently available technologies.

    • Ceramic Membranes for Hydrogen Separation - In the long term, hydrogen is expected to be the energy carrier of choice for both stationary power and transportation applications. To realize this potential future, cost-effective hydrogen separation membrane technologies need to be developed for successful application to fossil fuel-based hydrogen production. In this fully DOE-funded $6.80 million project, ANL researchers are developing ceramic membranes to separate hydrogen containing gaseous mixtures from the products of coal gasification, natural gas partial oxidation, and the water-gas shift reaction. The researchers will identify suitable materials for the membranes, fabricate them, and study and evaluate their performance.

    • SOFC Research and Development - Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) offer an efficient, clean approach to generating electricity. However, their high operating temperatures and low sulfur tolerance reduce the economics and longevity of their materials. In this $9.03 million project, fully-funded by DOE, ANL scientists are researching strategies to decrease the operating temperature and develop materials that can resist sulfur-containing contaminants. In addition, ANL will also analyze the advantages and disadvantages of different SOFC designs and systems that have been proposed.

    • Support of SECA: Converting Diesel Fuel into Gas - ANL is also conducting a fully-funded $800,000 project to perform catalyst development for auto-thermal reforming of diesel fuel into hydrogen-rich gas and provide independent expertise for program management support. ANL will explore new catalysts that are more stable under diesel reforming conditions.

Universities Investigating Fuel Cells, Power Plant Siting Issues, Energy Conservation Among Railroads
  • Interaction Between Fuel Cell, Power Conditioning System and Application Load - University of Illinois, Chicago IL, is working on a $1.12 million project (DOE share: $652,000) to investigate through means of computer simulation the interactions between the fuel cell, the power conditioning system and application loads.

  • Novel Alloys for Fuel Cells - Southern Illinois University, Carbondale IL, is investigating novel alloys (eg., TiC-Ni-Ni3Al) for solid oxide fuel cell interconnect applications. DOE is contributing $283,000 to this $356,000 project.

  • Energy Conservation in the Railroad Industry - Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, will  seek to develop alternatives to the current consumption of natural resources and the ability to conserve energy through various means in the railroad industry. DOE is funding $945,000 of this $1.18 million project.

  • Power Plant Study - Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL, will investigate the best operational, environmental, and economic plant concept to replace its current central power plant. DOE is funding $474,000 of this $590,500 study.

Illinois State Geological Survey Assessing Carbon Sequestration Options, Reusing Produced Water from Power Plants
  • Assessment of Geological Carbon Sequestration Options in Illinois Basin - The members of the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, led by the Illinois State Geologica Survey in Champaign, IL, propose to build on their Phase I assessment of the Illinois Basin for geological carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration by carrying out actual CO2 injection tests over the next several years.  The project was modified in December 2007 to include a large volume carbon storage project as part of Phase III of the Regional Partnerships. DOE is contribution $84.7 million to this $108.3 million project. 
  • Reuse of Produced Water in Coal-Based Power Plants - The main objective of this $1.18 million project (DOE share: $830,000) is to evaluate the potential feasibility of reusing three types of non-traditional water sources for cooling or process water for existing and planned coal-based power plants in the Illinois Basin. The sources are: (1) produced water from CO2 enhanced oil recovery operation; (2) coal-bed methane (CBM) recovery; and (3) active and abandoned underground coal mines. The project will focus on evaluating the quantity and quality of produced water from these sources, identifying suitable technologies for treating the produced water to different quality levels, estimating cooling/process water demand for coal-based power plants in the Illinois Basin, estimating the cost of treated water, and optimizing the cost of pipeline distribution network for water transportation.
Industry Invests in Clean Coal Technologies
  • Technology for Minimizing Freshwater Use in Power Plants - Nalco Company, Naperville, IL, will develop advanced-scale control technologies that will enable coal-based power plants to minimize fresh water use by using impaired water in recirculating cooling water systems at high cycles of concentrations and minimal volumes of blowdown. The overall approach is to use synergistic combinations of physical and chemical technologies, with separations reducing the scaling potential of the water and scale inhibitors extending the safe operating range of the system, to maximize water utilization efficiency and minimize waste discharge. DOE is funding $537,700 of this $1.07 million project.
  • Oxycombustion for Existing Coal-Fired Power Plants - Jupiter Oxygen Corporation, Schiller Park, IL, plans to demonstrate that the combination of Jupiter's oxy-fuel combustion technology and NETL's Integrated Pollutant Removal (IPR) process can produce a CO2 by-product that meets the specifications for deep saline aquifer sequestration and/or enhanced oil recovery as defined by DOE'S Sequestration Program. DOE is contributing $3.69 million to this $4.62 million project.
National Laboratory Boosting Oil Production, Protecting the Environment

Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Argonne, IL, is the site of two projects. The projects have a combined value of $300,000 and are disseminating information to industry/universities.

  • Life Cycle Assessment - In this $250,000 DOE-funded project, ANL will provide life cycle analyses on several projects that were recommended as being valuable to the oil and natural gas industries by the Petroleum Environmental Research Forum. The projects will develop tools and data that the industry can use to improve environmental protection and interaction with regulatory agencies.

  • Ceramic Borehole Sealants for Arctic Environment - ANL will transfer their chemically bonded phosphate ceramic borehole sealants technology to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.  ANL will also participate in field tests of this technology in Alaska.  DOE is contributing the entire $50,000 for this project.

Gas Technology Institute (GTI) Studying Ways to Upgrade Low-Quality Gas, Remove Contaminants from Coal-Based Gasification Systems
  • Seven projects at GTI, Des Plaines, IL, are valued at a combined total of $8.90 million and are currently receiving $6.08 million in funding from DOE.

    • Control Internal Pipeline Corrosion - In this $784,000 project (DOE share: $509,000) GTI proposes to conduct an experimental program to analyze the environmental conditions associated with the interior of iron and steel pipelines used for the transmission and storage of natural gas, and how microbial influenced corrosion forms inside these structures. Once a laboratory simulation system has been constructed and operated, GTI will evaluate the components or constituents of pepper extracts.

    • Selective Cleavage of Carbon-Nitrogen Bonds - The goal of this project is to develop biochemical pathways for the selective cleavage of C-N bonds in molecules found in petroleum. DOE is contributing $867,000 of the $1.08 million total for this project.

    • Plastic Pipe Repair Sleeve - This objective of this $298,000 project (DOE Share: $149,000) is to develop a plastic pipe repair sleeve; a simple, mechanical device that can be installed on a 4-inch polyethylene pipe under system operating pressure.

    • Pipeline Inspection Technology - The goal of this project is to develop, construct, integrate and demonstrate an accurate and dependable in-line pipeline inspection tool for currently unpiggable transmission pipelines and distribution mains and the required supporting technologies. The work will integrate a remote field eddy current sensor with a robotic platform and demonstrate the ability to detect pipeline defects in a live gas pipeline. DOE is contributing $1.5 million to this $2.3 million project.

    • Development of High Temperature Capacitor Technology - The goal of this project is to design and carry out controlled experiments to systematically optimize manufacturing and testing processes for fluorene isophthalate terephalate (also known as fluorene polyester or FPE) capacitors, such that the commercial availability of a reliable and affordable supply of these capacitors will be encouraged. The processes to be optimized include film casting, film metallization, and final capacitor assembly. If a reliable supply of affordable HT capacitors is available, these components can be used in downhole drill motor drives and downhole MWD communication devices for oil and gas drilling. DOE is contributing $543,000 to this $877,000 project. 

    • Multi-contaminant Removal Process for Coal-Based Gasification Systems -  GTI will evaluate the technical feasibility and economics of the UCSRP-HP and CrystaSulf (sulfur removal) processes, each combined with the GTI trace-contaminant cleanup process applied to syngas cleanup for hydrogen production, and for a 500 MWe coal-based IGCC power plant. DOE is contributing $1.37 million to this $2.12 million project.

    • Transport Membrane Condenser - The objective of this project is to develop a membrane separation technology to recover water vapor from power plant flue gas based on GTI's patented Transport Membrane Condenser (TMC) technique. The major part of recovered water will be available for plant use such as cooling tower water makeup or flue gas desulfurization. With the large amount of cooling water stream available for power plant application, up to 90% of the water vapor in the power plant flue gas can be cost-effectively recovered. The method can be used for flue gas from high-moisture-content coals. It is particularly advantageous when applied to power plants that use FGDs because of the increased moisture level in the stack gases. DOE is contributing $1.15 million to this $1.44 million project.

University to Study Local Oil Development Prospects
  • Development Opportunities in the Illinois Basin - The University of Illinois, Chicago, IL, is taking a systems approach to identifying exploration and development opportunities in the Illinois Basin. Researchers will develop a digital portfolio of oil plays in the under-explored Lower Paleozoic rocks of the Illinois Basin. DOE is contributing $800,000 to this $1.2 million project.

 Page owner:  Fossil Energy Office of Communications
Page updated on: July 20, 2009 

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