Kentucky Congressmen Geoff Davis and Hal Rogers have unveiled more than $1.4 million in federal funding that will support research at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) on refining coal into liquid transportation fuels.
The funding will help advance ongoing research into the Fischer-Tropsch method of converting coal into liquid fuels by allowing the center to build a “mini-refinery.”
The new allocation provides for the mini-refinery building, for utilities and infrastructure, and integration of an existing slurry column reactor used in the Fischer-Tropsch process. The ultimate cost of the refinery will be around $12 million. The mini-refinery will reduce costs of the process and help produce a more environmentally friendly liquid fuel. The project will help manage and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-to-liquid facilities and from use of the fuels. The goal of the project is to develop facilities and personnel to sustain a coal synfuels industry in Kentucky.
“The fact that we can no longer rely on unstable foreign regimes to supply the energy resources we need has never been clearer,” Davis said. “It is time to put all our options on the table and implement a comprehensive energy strategy that will explore our domestic resources, develop alternative fuels and invest heavily in future fuel technology. Coal-to-liquid technology could have enormous benefits for Kentucky as a source of thousands of jobs and for our nation as a source of clean, stable, affordable fuel. The Center for Applied Energy Research is working at the tip of the spear on new ways to develop clean and efficient energy.”