Against a backdrop of proposed federal regulations limiting carbon dioxide – and the resulting impact on coal and coal-fired power plants – scientists from around the world are gathering at West Virginia University’s Erickson Alumni Center on Tuesday (Aug. 5) for a four-day meeting that will showcase carbon capture and sequestration research that can help address climate change.

In June, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed new regulations for coal-fired power plants to reduce carbon pollution by 30 percent by 2030 compared with 2005 levels. Advanced coal technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration can reduce these emissions by capturing carbon dioxide from power plants or large industrial sources and transporting it into deep underground rock formations for permanent storage.

Richard A. Bajura, director, WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy, said WVU has been advancing research in this area for years. In 2009, WVU agreed to collaborate with the National Energy Technology Laboratory and the IEA Greenhouse Gas Programme on research that could help reduce the carbon footprint of burning fossil fuels.

“The state of West Virginia has a legacy as a global fossil energy resource and WVU and NETL have strong carbon management programs and leading researchers in this field,” Bajura said. “WVU is a natural home for assessing technologies for the safe and secure storage of carbon dioxide, which could have a significant impact on the state of West Virginia, the nation, and the world.”

Tim Dixon, IEAGHG technical program manager, said reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power generation and other industrial sources is a global challenge.

“Our efforts in bringing together the international research community help lead to a common understanding of the issues involved and the shared developments, experiences, and approaches for dealing with them,” he said. “The United States is at the forefront of CCS technology, and we are very pleased to have our international workshop hosted here by West Virginia University.”

The Combined Modelling and Monitoring Networks Meeting is organized by IEAGHG based in Cheltenham, UK, and is hosted by the WVU NRCCE. Event sponsors include the WVU NRCCE, the West Virginia Division of Energy, Battelle, and Southern States Energy Board.