|EERC aggressively commercializing several cutting-edge technologies|
The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) is poised to commercialize several groundbreaking EERC-developed technologies with a strong focus on furthering economic development in North Dakota and the region.
The EERC, a worldwide leader in the development of cleaner, more efficient energy and environmental technologies, is committed to moving technologies out of the laboratory and into the commercial marketplace.
"We are internationally recognized for our applied energy and environmental research programs, which translate to a never-ending stream of commercialization opportunities," said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold. "We do not do fundamental research. Every program, and every contract, is derived with the intent of answering critical questions and/or developing technology that has economical, practical applications."
The following is a select list of current commercial opportunities from the EERC's numerous applied research programs:
* Renewable Jet Fuel and Diesel: The EERC is the first enterprise in the world to produce 100% renewable jet fuel and diesel from crop oils through its Advanced Tactical Fuels Program, with support from several government and private entities. The fuels are essentially identical to their petroleum-derived counterparts, providing a pathway to energy security for the U.S. military and the entire nation. The EERC is working with Tesoro (North Dakota) and several other commercial entities to commercialize the technology, which would produce billions of dollars worth of alternative fuels annually.
* Mercury Control: The EERC is working with RLP Energy, Inc. (Grand Forks), the latest new company to collocate an office at the EERC, to provide customized mercury control solutions to electric utilities. Mercury control is one of the major global challenges associated with the development of clean coal technologies. RLP Energy is competing for full-scale implementation of the technology and is expected to have its first commercial contract at a major coal-fired utility within the next several months.
* Hydrogen On-Demand Fueling System: The EERC has developed a high-pressure hydrogen production process for converting liquid fuels, such as ethanol, methanol, and gasoline, to hydrogen. Utilizing this process, the significant infrastructure costs of nationwide hydrogen production, transportation, and storage will be greatly reduced or eliminated so that hydrogen refueling can be accessible and affordable. The EERC is currently working with many industry partners to commercialize the project for a variety of applications. The first demonstration of this technology is tentatively planned for Grand Forks in 2010.
* Fertilizer Production: With dramatic increases in fertilizer prices, dependence on imports, and logistical costs, it is vital to develop alternative, domestic supplies for fertilizer production. The EERC, in conjunction with the North Dakota Corn Growers Association, the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotional Council, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is advancing a technology to produce fertilizer using a proprietary, significantly lower-cost concept that can use coal or biomass instead of natural gas. The first commercial demonstration is planned for 2010 in North Dakota.
* Distributed Biomass Energy Systems: Many agricultural and other biomass residues have a high energy value; however, this value is lost as they are transported off-site at a disposal cost. The EERC is working with Aboriginal Cogeneration Company (Manitoba) to commercialize an EERC-developed system to produce electricity from scrap railroad ties. This same technology can be applied to numerous biomass feedstocks, such as agricultural residues and wood wastes and, as such, has a very large global market. As local communities, corporations, and farmers seek to lower operational costs and revenues, utilization of biomass residues provides an economically attractive solution for producing on-site heat and power. The first commercial demonstration of this technology is planned for later this year in British Columbia.