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UW Continues International Advanced Coal Research, Collaborations

May 24, 2012

For six days in June, researchers from the University of Wyoming will address critical issues of advanced coal use at the 2012 International Advanced Coal Technologies Conference in Shaanxi Province, China. They also will tour coal conversion facilities in the region.

The conference, which the UW School of Energy Resources (SER) is co-sponsoring and hosted in Laramie in 2010, also will draw American and Chinese policymakers, coal industry representatives from both countries, and researchers with a wide range of expertise in advanced coal technology, carbon capture and sequestration, and carbon dioxide use.

"We consider building relationships through international conferences like these important because the issues we face in Wyoming are really global issues. Coal is an energy resource that is critical to our economy," SER Director Mark Northam says. "Our goal is to find ways to add value to Wyoming coal through new technology, and to find new markets for its use."

Conferences like these strengthen U.S.-China technology exchanges and cooperation in advanced coal technologies, Northam says. That can lead to a more comprehensive use of coal resources to promote the sustainable development of energy and chemical engineering in both Shaanxi Province and Wyoming.

The June 3-7 conference also will be an opportunity for policymakers to see the latest developments in the industry. The trip will include a tour of a large-scale, coal-to-liquids plant that has been operating for several years.

Along with SER staff, 12 UW students will attend the conference.

"This is an excellent opportunity for our students to see, firsthand, what's happening in the coal industry internationally," Northam says.

Students will be expected to take part in the conference and develop a portfolio describing their activities, outcomes and experiences, including perspectives of global energy issues and the cultural impacts they experienced.

The trip has received the endorsement of the UW Energy Resources Council, which provides direction to the SER on research and outreach priorities.

The conference started in 2008 and was hosted by the University of Queensland. This year's conference is being hosted by the Shaanxi Provincial Government.

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