|EERC researchers receive distinguished service award|
Two researchers at the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) received the Lignite Energy Council's Distinguished Service Award for excellence in research and development.
Steven Benson, senior research manager, and Michael Jones, senior research advisor, were presented with the award recently during the Lignite Energy Council's annual meeting and award luncheon in Bismarck.
The award was presented to them in appreciation for their expertise and support to the lignite industry and the Lignite Technology Development Workgroup regarding mercury, nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon dioxide (CO2) control, and gasification technologies.
"We want to recognize Dr. Benson and Dr. Jones for their leadership and counsel on numerous research teams that have been helping the lignite industry find better ways to convert lignite to other forms of energy more efficiently and more cleanly," said John Dwyer, president of the Lignite Energy Council. "Steve and Mike have been active in the Lignite Technology Development Workgroup, providing their insight and expertise in developing future lignite research objectives," he said.
"Steve and Mike's work has resulted in a number of state- and industry-sponsored research projects involving the utilization of lignite coal, which all involve private sector investment," said Gerald Groenewold, Director of the EERC. "This is exactly the type of practical technical leadership that we are providing to our state's industry, which, in turn, is providing enhanced economic competitiveness and new jobs in North Dakota."
The EERC has a long history working in coal utilization technologies throughout North Dakota and the world. The EERC's Coal Utilization Technologies Center and the Emission Control Technologies Center, two of the EERC's ten Centers of Excellence, have been working in partnership with North Dakota's utility industry to further all aspects of energy-from-coal technologies, ranging from fundamental resource characterization to waste utilization and disposal. The EERC's Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership has also made major strides forward in developing carbon capture and storage technologies.
The Lignite Energy Council's R&D program is a partnership with the state of North Dakota that generates matching funds from industry. Approximately $3 million is raised annually from a 10-cent/ton coal tax to fund R&D projects.