The U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will have a new research partner in the effort to green energy production and its associated emissions: the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Laboratory directors from PNNL and the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, W.Va., recently met with researchers in Beijing to kick off a new clean energy technology research effort in June.
At this meeting, American and Chinese representatives signed an agreement delineating that their combined research team, known as the Clean Energy Partnership, will perform research projects in three areas: carbon capture (evaluating challenges and costs thereof in Chinese depleted oil fields and deep geological formations), co-gasification of coal and biomass (as well as the development of new, higher temperature materials and processes to remove impurities from resulting emissions streams), and convert synthetic gas into natural gas (with a focus on efficiency and economics, using advanced computational simulations involving new catalyst materials).
While the Clean Energy Partnership is new, collaboration between the PNNL and Chinese researchers is not, as early research partnerships date back to the early 1990s, when the PNNL helped to found the Beijing Energy Efficiency Center. Additionally, in 2006, PNNL joined with the Chinese Academy of Science’s Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics and its Institute of Coal Chemistry to form the International Consortium for Clean Energy, or ICCE, which brought more than 25 senior U.S. and Chinese scientists together to conduct research.
“Establishing a strong scientific alignment between U.S. and Chinese researchers is the key to developing and deploying solutions to our collective emissions problem,” said PNNL Director Mike Kluse, in a statement. “We must use our nations’ complementary skills, in collaboration, to move discoveries and technologies into the marketplace.”