US DOE invests over $6M in research decarbonization projects

By U.S. Department of Energy | August 31, 2022

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) announced $6.4 million in funding for 18 projects to conduct early-stage research and development of decarbonization technologies and environmental remediation, and to develop strategies to enhance the engagement of minority-serving institutions on FECM-related research at eligible U.S. colleges and universities. The investment includes nine projects totaling almost $3.8 million through the University Coal Research (UCR) program and nine projects totaling almost $2.6 million through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Other Minority Institutions (HBCU-OMI) program. The two programs comprise FECM’s University Training and Research program, which serves to educate and train the next generation of engineers and scientists working to advance integrated solutions key to meeting the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, while supporting the Justice40 initiative to advance environmental justice and spur economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities.

“As we transition to a net-zero greenhouse gas economy, it is critical to invest in the development of a highly skilled workforce—one that is focused on diversity and inclusion—to foster the innovative solutions needed to tackle climate change and ensure clean, affordable energy for our communities,” said Brad Crabtree, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. “Since 2010, our University Training and Research program has awarded over $40 million in research and development projects that have trained more than 180 students, providing them with cutting-edge skills that can be applied to enduring, successful careers in clean energy and carbon management fields.”

Both the UCR and HBCU-OMI programs will fund projects that explore biomass feedstocks blended with waste coal and coupled with carbon capture and storage and address the reclamation and remediation of legacy environmental impacts of coal-based production and generation. Additional projects funded by the HBCU-OMI program will aid minority-serving institutions in conducting self-assessments to determine research infrastructure and capabilities that will result in a better understanding of decarbonization pathways, providing increased opportunities for traditionally underserved students and communities to participate in approaches that align with net-zero emissions goals.

DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the selected projects. A detailed list of the selected projects can be found here.

FECM’s University Training and Research program funds early-stage technology R&D projects in support of fostering meaningful engagement with the academic research communities to help realize a just and sustainable transition toward a net-zero carbon economy. The program also advances the education and training of a highly skilled and culturally diverse workforce of scientists, engineers, and managers by increasing the participation of students from underrepresented and historically marginalized communities.

FECM funds research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects to decarbonize power generation and industrial production, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and mitigate the environmental impacts of fossil fuel production and use. Priority areas of technology work include carbon capture, carbon conversion, carbon dioxide removal, carbon dioxide transport and storage, hydrogen production with carbon management, methane emissions reduction, and critical minerals production. To learn more, visit the FECM websitesign up for FECM news announcements and visit the NETL website.