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You are here:  State-by-State Project Profiles > North Carolina

DOE Fossil Energy R&D Projects in North Carolina


Number of Projects

Total Value*
(Million $)

DOE Share
(Million $)

Job Benefits**

Coal & Power 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.

RTI Focuses on Gas Stream Desulfurization, Producing Cleaner Fuels
  • The Research Triangle Institute (RTI), Research Triangle Park, NC, is conducting four research projects with a combined value of $38.64 million (DOE share: $30.23 million).

    • Technology for Co-Production of Hydrogen and Electricity - RTI will develop a process for coproducing hydrogen and electricity based on the reduction and oxidation of iron oxide catalysts to process coal gasification synthesis gas. The project team will develop a sturdy, iron-based catalyst for producing high-pressure, high-purity hydrogen within a system capable of separating carbon dioxide for sequestration. If successful, the project will reduce the cost of gasification-based co-production while achieving near-zero emissions. DOE is contributing $2.57 million to this $3.22 million project.

    • Novel Substitute Natural Gas/Electricity Co-production Process - RTI will develop a catalytic coal-gasification process that coproduces SNG and electricity, achieves near-zero emissions, and produces high-pressure, sequestration-ready carbon dioxide. The concept centers on a preprocessing step that converts the coal into a mixture of gas-phase carbon products, hydrogen, and char particles. The gaseous mixture is then cycled through a catalytic reactor and converted into methane. DOE will contribute $3.0 million to this $3.76 million project.

    • Novel Technologies for Desulfurization of Synthesis Gas - RTI is working on a $25.0 million project (DOE share: $19.4 million) to remove sulfur-containing compounds from coal-derived synthesis gas. These compounds have the potential to upset operating conditions of technologies such as fuel cells and advanced combustion turbines. Several removal processes will be examined and include the use of membranes, regenerable adsorbents, and sodium bicarbonate materials. Successful development of these processes will result in significantly reducing the cost of synthesis gas purification.

    • Syngas Cleaning Technology - RTI will develop a warm multi-contaminant syngas cleaning system for operation between 300 and 700 degrees Fahrenheit and 1,200 psig. This system will be composed of a bulk contaminant removal stage and a polishing removal stage. Although a number of factors contribute to the overall cost of IGCC technology, the cost of cleaning the syngas to near zero contaminant levels is a major component, accounting for 7 to 15% of the overall capital cost. The keys to improving the economics of the syngas cleaning system are reducing these costs and, at the same time, increasing the thermal efficiency of conversion of coal into electricity and other products. DOE is contributing $5.26 million to this $6.66 million project.

University Is Developing Advanced Membranes for Hydrogen Production
  • North Carolina A&T State University (NCA&T), Greensboro, NC, is the site of three projects fully funded by DOE with a combined value of $600,000.

    • Hydrogen Separation Membranes - North Carolina A&T will fabricate thin-film palladium-silver (Pd-Ag) alloy composite membranes on microporous stainless steel. The purpose of this research is to separate hydrogen from liquid or gaseous fuels at elevated temperatures, and subsequently to demonstrate them in a membrane reactor for steam reforming of methanol to produce high-purity hydrogen for fuel cell usage. The development of a high-temperature membrane reactor is designed to combine the reforming reaction and hydrogen separation in a single operation. Successful development and demonstration of a membrane reactor is expected to increase hydrogen production by overcoming equilibrium limitations experienced in conventional reforming followed by purification reactor configurations, and will improve process economics by reducing capital costs associated with use of multiple reactors. DOE is fully funding this $200,000 project. 

    • Membrane Reactor System to Reform Liquid Fuels to Hydrogen - University researchers are also developing a membrane reactor system based on a palladium-silver alloy membrane to convert liquid fuels to hydrogen. The system will be capable of simultaneously producing and separating hydrogen in one step for use in fuel cell applications. This more cost-effective process will also be able to achieve nearly 100 percent conversion because the system will selectively remove hydrogen from the product stream. DOE is completely funding this project at a value of $200,000.

    • Fabrication of Alloy Films - University researchers will investigate and explore the applicability of pulsed laser deposition as an novel way to fabricate hydrogen-selective palladium/palladium alloy composite membranes. DOE is completely funding this project at a value of $200,000.



 Page owner:  Fossil Energy Office of Communications
Page updated on: April 29, 2008 

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