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WVU hosts major U.S.- China clean coal forum

Brian Anderson, director of the WVU Energy Institute, speaking at the 2017 US China Clean Coal Industry Forum

Brian Anderson, director of the WVU Energy Institute  (Photo: Mark Shepard)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University provided the state, region and nation the opportunity to broaden relationships with China’s energy industries as it hosted the 2017 U.S.- China Clean Coal Industry Forum in Morgantown on Nov. 29-Dec. 1.

“The United States and China as the two largest economies, and the two biggest users of energy in the world, must lead the way together in developing the next-generation technologies for energy production. To have WVU host this very important forum is a testimony to how the University is a global leader in the future of energy,” said Brian Anderson, director of the WVU Energy Institute.

"This meeting fosters collaborative research and joint business opportunities by bringing together researchers, business leaders and decision makers from both countries,” said Anderson.  “West Virginia’s recent China Energy investment announcement is an example of what can culminate from these partnerships and meetings like this.”

Officials from the U.S. Department of Energy, China National Energy Administration and WVU organized the meeting that addressed clean coal technologies.  The forum, which alternates between the U.S. and China, broke attendance records of previous meetings.

Over 200 attendees, which included research faculty, industry, and state and government officials, collaborated on new technologies, as well as environmental and intellectual property issues.  (Photo: Mark Shepard)

Over 200 attendees, which included research faculty, industry, and state and government officials, collaborated on new technologies, as well as environmental and intellectual property issues.  (Photo: Mark Shepard)

Over 200 participants, which included academia, industry, commerce and government officials, collaborated on research including advanced clean coal development, post-combustion CO2 capture, and green mining and clean coal conversion practices.  Additional topics covered were environmental issues, intellectual property concerns and ways to develop partnerships to expand business opportunities.

WVU President E. Gordon Gee welcomed the group to Morgantown as did West Virginia Commerce Secretary H. Wood (Woody) Thrasher.  Gee emphasized WVU’s 15-year history of working with over 20 Chinese universities in student exchange programs and faculty partnerships with industry in research and training.

WVU President E. Gordon Gee, Richard Bajura, and WV Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher chat before the start of the 2017 U.S.- China Clean Coal Industry Forum. (Photo: Mark Shepard)

WVU President E. Gordon Gee, Richard Bajura, and WV Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher chat before the start of the 2017 U.S.- China Clean Coal Industry Forum. (Photo: Mark Shepard)


Steven Winberg, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, was featured at the meeting and stressed the importance of joint efforts between the U.S. and China in overcoming challenges of the coal industry. “The core of our ongoing collaboration is information exchange and scientific collaboration,” Winberg said.  “The CCIF is a valuable forum for us to explore opportunities for technical information exchange and opportunities for future collaboration on clean coal.”

Eight bilingual students from WVU with interests in energy research acted as meeting ambassadors by facilitating conversations between English and Chinese-speaking delegates and fostering professional networking among the attendees.

Bilingual students from WVU acted as meeting ambassadors by facilitating conversations between English and Chinese-speaking delegates and fostering professional networking among the attendees. (Photo:  Tracy Novak)

Bilingual students from WVU acted as meeting ambassadors by facilitating conversations between English and Chinese-speaking delegates and fostering professional networking among the attendees. (Photo:  Tracy Novak)

Richard Bajura, director emeritus at WVU’s National Research Center for Coal and Energy, moderated an interactive panel discussion on “Pathways to Support Sustainable Use of Coal.”  “As countries continue to increase their sustainable energy choices such as solar and wind, coal-fired plants must work to lower their operating costs and environmental impact while increasing their operating flexibility to work in concert with natural gas, solar and wind energies,” Bajura said.

Anderson chaired a session on “Advanced Technology and Collaboration” that included a case study on advanced clean energy development presented by the Gas Technology Institute (U.S.) and another on a smart mine system by the Lu’an Group (China).

James Wood, director of the Advanced Coal Technology Consortium housed under the U.S. - China Clean Energy Research Center at WVU closed the technical sessions by offering several examples of how the two countries could collaborate on major clean coal projects.  Wood discussed updates on intellectual property rights, operating efficiencies research, and carbon management and storage.

A large Chinese delegation attended the 2107 CCIF Conference in Morgatown, W.Va.

Chinese delegates listening to presentations on clean coal technology in Morgantown, W.Va.

Participants ended the two-day meeting with tours of the Longview Power Plant, the U.S. DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, and the Energy Company of America shale gas site in Greene County, Pa. that is partly owned by the China Energy Investment Corporation.

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tn/12/4/17

CONTACT: Tracy Novak, Communications Director, WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy
Tracy.Novak@mail.wvu.edu; 304-293-6928

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