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WVU signs expanded cooperation agreement with Chinese energy company

WVU Today

Brian Anderson, director of the WVU Energy Institute, describes work on an experimental plasma gasification project to representatives of Shanxi International Energy Group Company, Ltd. This emerging technology is testing whether coal, carbon dioxide and hazardous wastes can be transformed into synthetic gas for chemicals or fuels production and benign forms of vitrified slag. The lab is housed at WVU’s National Research Center for Coal and Energy in Morgantown.
(WVU Today photo)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University and Shanxi International Energy Group have signed an expanded agreement to cooperate on energy research, training and education through the U.S.-China Energy Center-Shanxi.

“Agreements such as these serve as another example of the types of relationships that WVU has been building in China for the past 18 years,” said Brian Anderson, WVU Energy Institute director.

“Joint research and learning opportunities lay the foundation for collaboration between West Virginia and Chinese businesses and governments that can result in development of clean energy systems with global impact and can lead to economic investments and a cleaner environment in the future,” Anderson said.

The agreement was signed Thursday in Morgantown by WVU Vice President for Research Fred King, and Shanxi International Energy Group Chairman and CEO. Cao Yang. Others on hand included several WVU deans and research leaders along with SEIG officials including Ye Zefu, the vice general manager of Shanxi Gemeng China US Clean Energy R&D Center Co. Ltd., and a former International Scholar at the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.

The original agreement establishing the USCEC-S was signed in 2015 and was followed by a ribbon-cutting in 2017 commissioning a research facility in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, China. The facility includes offices and a laboratory where WVU researchers may conduct experiments and develop education, training and economic development activities in collaboration with their Chinese partners.

The cooperation agreement signed this week increases the scope of joint research, education and training programs that may be conducted. These include shale gas, geothermal, waste-to-energy, electricity storage batteries, coal conversion to liquid fuels and chemicals, and environmental protection related to mining.

The agreement also includes carbon capture, storage, and use in enhanced oil drilling and production and the use of fossil fuels and carbon dioxide in polygeneration plants that simultaneously produce electricity, chemicals such as ammonia and urea for fertilizer, and carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery.

Specific projects and training programs will be conducted based on the availability of funding received from the respective partners’ government agencies or through philanthropic organizations. Provisions protecting intellectual property are included in the agreement. Specific training programs are paid for by the company or organization receiving the training.

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