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John Rupp

Last modified: Friday, April 1, 2011

Indiana Geological Survey is key partner in U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center

April 1, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana Geological Survey, a research institute of Indiana University, has been chosen as one of the U.S. partners in the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC), an international research collaboration.

Image courtesy of CERC

The U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center employs scientists from the world's two biggest energy consuming countries.

Print-Quality Photo

"It's a wonderful opportunity for Indiana University researchers to collaborate with leading universities, national laboratories, and corporations in both China and the U.S. to address the challenges associated with coal utilization," said John Rupp, who is leading IGS participation in the project. "Because Indiana is a highly coal-dependent state, developing these technologies is crucial to developing dependable and affordable energy."

In November 2009, presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao agreed to establish CERC. The center's primary purpose is to facilitate joint research, development, and commercialization of clean energy technologies for the United States and China. This collaboration will also build a foundation of knowledge, human capabilities, and relationships in mutually beneficial areas that will emphasize clean energy usage in both nations.

CERC has three components: energy efficiency, clean vehicles, and advanced coal utilization. Within the three CERC programs, the Advanced Coal Technologies Collaboration (ACTC) program, which the IGS will be most intimately involved with, will address key research tasks in support of technology associated with clean coal power generation and conversion, the development of new, low-cost capture technologies, and the development of geological sequestration practices.

The U.S.-China CERC-ACTC will advance the coal technology needed to safely, effectively, and efficiently utilize coal resources, including the ability to capture, store, and utilize emissions from coal use in both nations.

U.S. Department of Energy administrators chose West Virginia University and Huazhong University of Science and Technology to lead teams of researchers from a broad spectrum of public and private institutions. The IGS will work with geoscientists at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories, the Wyoming Geological Survey, West Virginia University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Wyoming to investigate the application of new technologies to evaluate geological carbon sequestration. The work will include a comparative assessment of storing injected carbon dioxide in a series of reservoirs in the deep subsurface of the Illinois Basin region in the United States and the Ordos basin in China.

Additional activities include collaborating with power-generating industries on site-specific carbon capture and sequestration projects. On these projects, representatives from both industrial and academic entities will work in a complementary manner to address the challenges associated with clean coal technologies. The results of this collaboration will be of value to coal users in both nations and the world, as the goal of de-carbonizing the electricity-generation process is pursued.

IGS Director John Steinmetz says his research institute's participation in CERC also meets a challenge put to IU scientists by their university president, Michael A. McRobbie.

"The Indiana Geological Survey is playing an important role in President McRobbie's charge to expand upon international strategic partnerships," Steinmetz said. "CERC achieves just that, and we're very pleased to contribute in this fashion. "

The Indiana Geological Survey is an applied research institution that provides objective and unbiased information about the mineral, energy, and water resources of the state. The IGS has served the people of Indiana since 1837. Established by Indiana statute in 1993 as an institution of Indiana University, the IGS is committed to providing timely and reliable earth science information through directed research, service and education.

To speak with Rupp, please call 812-855-1323 or e-mail