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Obama Administration Announces Clean Coal Research Awards for Universities Across the Country

Jul 02, 2012   |   U.S. Dept. of Energy

As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above approach to American energy, the Energy Department announced that nine universities have won awards for research projects that will continue to support innovation and development of clean coal technologies. The awards, which will leverage student-led teams across the country as they continue research and development of new technologies and materials that will advance clean coal energy production, are part of the Administration’s focus on ensuring we can rely on a broad range of energy sources as we move towards a clean energy economy.

Improved Alloys

Ian BakerProfessor Ian Baker

By substantially increasing the pressure and temperature of the steam used to produce power, advanced ultrasupercritical (AUSC) coal-fired power plants improve generation efficiency, use less coal and release less carbon pollution. The implementation of AUSC boilers requires materials with high-temperature oxidation, corrosion and deformation resistance. Selected projects will develop new surface modification techniques or optimize existing techniques for the protection of high-temperature alloys used in AUSC coal-fired boilers and in advanced gas turbines.

Dartmouth (Hanover, N.H.)— Materials that are strong and corrosion resistant are critical to the operation of AUSC power generation plants at high temperatures. However, the iron-based steels currently in use are not sufficient for temperatures greater than 700ºC that are required to operate advanced power plants. Dartmouth [Professor of Engineering Ian Baker] will research strengthened iron-based austenitic steels alloyed with aluminum for improved oxidation resistance. The precipitation phenomena and deformation behavior of the specific alloys that will be studied and modeled will enable further systematic alloy development. (DOE Share: $294,072; Recipient Share: $108,394)

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