WVU to conduct commercial-scale research of clean tech for coal-fired power plants

Stories | WVU Today | West Virginia University

West Virginia University
researchers are leading commercial-scale research and development of two new
innovations at the country’s most efficient coal-fired power plant in
Maidsville. The devices, a corrosion sensor invented at WVU and a gas sensor invented
at Los Alamos National Laboratory, could make coal combustion more efficient
with fewer emissions and fewer unplanned outages saving millions of dollars.

The WVU Electrochemical
Systems Research Center, directed by Xingbo
Liu, plans to conduct experiments of the sensors at Longview Power,
LLC’s 700 net megawatt power plant under two projects that total $1.8 million.
The projects are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy
Technology Laboratory with matching contributions from the participating
organizations. Researchers from WVU, Los Alamos and two private-sector firms
are collaborating on the efforts.

“We
are very excited that Longview is working with us. They are an ideal partner
because of their commitment to use the latest technology,” said Liu, who is
also a WVU professor of mechanical
and aerospace engineering.

Longview employs
state-of-the-art electricity generation and emissions technologies and best
available control technology that outperforms current strict environmental
regulations. The plant sets a new standard for future coal plants to achieve
according to company officials. Longview is located near WVU’s Morgantown
campus.

The
corrosion sensor team includes Liu and WVU Chemical Engineering Professor
Debangsu
Bhattacharyya; Chad Hufnagel of Longview Power; and WVU-spinoff
Aspinity, led by Chief Technology Officer Brandon Rumberg, who will be developing
the electronics. The gas sensor research team includes Liu; Hufnagel; Rangachary
Mukundan, Eric Brosha, and Cortney R. Kreller of Los Alamos National
Laboratory; and Michael Carter and Bennet Meulendyk of KWJ Engineering, Inc.
who will be assisting with the gas sensor commercial packaging.

“It is an honor to be working with such knowledgeable people who
are respected in their fields,” Liu said. “For us to succeed at this scale, …

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