WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) announced today the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $3,999,994 to the University of North Dakota (UND) for a project entitled, “Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Technology Development.”

According to Energy, the project will utilize:

  1. EERC existing state-of-the-art capabilities, including gasifiers, a configurable array of syngas cleanup technologies, solid oxide fuel cell test stands, and on/off-line analytical systems, and
  2. NETL expertise in identifying, modeling (via the JOULE 2.0 supercomputing facility), and quantifying SOFC component degradation modes.

The major outcome in this project will potentially be a syngas cleanup train demonstrated to yield a coal syngas capable of sustaining SOFC performance equal to that of natural gas at (projected) commercially viable capital and operating costs.

The funds come through the Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and are part of an approximately $34 million nationwide investment. This research effort is part of an FE program which focuses on enabling the generation of highly efficient, cost-effective electricity from coal and natural gas with near-zero atmospheric emissions. The selected projects work toward the shared goal of ensuring an efficient and reliable electrical grid, while also protecting the environment. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette announced the awards today.

“The Trump Administration is committed to making SOFC systems commercially available for hydrogen production and power generation. Selecting these projects for funding is a huge step toward that goal,” said Secretary Brouillette. “By working with National Laboratories, academic institutions, and private industry, we are combining a vast amount of knowledge and expertise to mature—and ultimately commercialize—these technologies.”