- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - The University of Wyoming and seven other institutions have formed a coalition with financial backing from the U.S. Energy Department to investigate the future of fossil energy.

The Energy Department recently contributed $20 million toward the effort by the University Coalition for Fossil Energy Research, which also includes the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University and Texas A&M; University.

“The three originating areas to focus on all relate to carbon management, carbon storage and coal conversion,” said Richard Horner, deputy director of emerging projects and technology at the UW School of Energy Resources.

Being included in the coalition with such prestigious universities shows UW is a national leader in the fossil fuel research, said Michael Pishko, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

“It’s an important national effort, and UW is a critical part of that coalition,” Pishko told the Laramie Boomerang (https://bit.ly/1Yogu3m ).

Wyoming also is the nation’s leading coal producing state and has much at stake in ensuring that coal has a future in the U.S. economy.

A coalition board selects which projects are deemed most important to fulfilling the key goals of the group, Pishko said.

“Right now, the coalition is in the process of defining specific research teams and research projects,” he said.

Currently, several research groups on the UW campus are preparing proposals to submit to the coalition board. The projects will be in competition with the other universities’ ideas.

Horner said one advantage UW has over other institutions is state-of-the-art equipment that allows researchers to investigate and use computer models in a unique way.

“It allows us to walk into a 3-D model and comprehend what’s going on if made in the real world,” he said. “It gives us a competitive advantage compared to these other universities.”

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Information from: Laramie Boomerang, https://www.laramieboomerang.com


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