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Contact and Mailing Information

National Research Center for Coal & Energy
P.O. Box 6064
385 Evansdale Drive
West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV 26506
ph 304/293-2867
fax 304/293-3749
NRCCE Enquiries


NRCCE 30th anniversary web site

2009 NRCCE News Archives

NRCCE's PTTC to host geology colloquium featuring managing partner of Ammonite Resources

8 December 2009 - G. Warfield "Skip" Hobbs will present THE FUTURE OF THE GLOBAL OIL INDUSTRY: RESOURCES, CHALLENGES AND THE GEOSCIENCE WORKFORCE, Wednesday at 1:45 p.m., 324 Brooks Hall. All are invited. Hobbs is Managing Partner of Ammonite Resources Company, an international petroleum geotechnical and business consulting firm which he founded in 1982 in New Canaan, Connecticut. He served on the Executive Committee of the American Geological Institute from 2004-2007, and is currently the President-Elect of the American Geological Institute. Hobbs writes and speaks frequently on energy economics and policy matters. Learn more here

SMART About Water Program Comes to an End

19 November 2009 - In 2008, the National Environmental Services Center (NESC) launched Smart About Water, a project in partnership with the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) designed to assist small communities in their efforts to protect drinking water quality. Funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the project helped develop and provide training and technical assistance about source water and wellhead protection, and focused on untreated wastewater from failing septic and sewer systems, the largest contributor to water quality degradation.

The first step of the project was training RCAP field staff, who then conducted 112 trainings in 42 states and U.S. Territories. Altogether, SMART trained 1,479 participants representing 683 small and very small drinking water systems throughout the nation. Of special interest were the 23 Trailblazer Communities, selected by RCAP based on their readiness to prepare source water and wellhead protection plans.

The SMART project officially ended September 30, 2009, although most of the project materials are still available on the SMART About Water Web site at www.nesc.wvu.edu/smart. In fact, more than 25,000 people still visit the site each month and downloads of SMART information and training aids have increased each month since the site launched. NESC intends to remain engaged in source water protection efforts and is active in the EPA Source Water Collaborative.

"On behalf of NESC, we would like to thank all the people who made this project a success," says Gerald Iwan, Ph.D., NESC's director, "especially Robert Stewart in the national RCAP office and Steve Ainsworth with EPA'S Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water. We have seen a tremendous interest in source water from around the country. Thousands of communities recognize that water quality is essential to their well being and efforts to assist them in protecting their sources of water is a good investment. If you have benefitted from the SMART program or would like to see EPA devote more support to continue the activities begun under SMART, we'd love to hear from you."

Contact NESC at:
National Environmental Services Center
West Virginia University
PO Box 6064
Morgantown WV 26506-6064
(800) 624-8301
info@mail.nesc.wvu.edu

NESC is compiling a final report and results will be made available to the public early in 2010.

To learn more about RCAP, visit their web site at www.rcap.org. Learn more about the Source Water Collaborative by going to www.protectdrinkingwater.org. In addition to the SMART About Water site, NESC maintains a comprehensive Web site at www.nesc.wvu.edu.

NRCCE's NAFTC Program Welcomes New Consortium Member Return to top

13 November 2009 - Georgia Technical College recently became a National Training Center member of the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC), headquartered at the West Virginia University National Research Center for Coal and Energy. Dr. Flora Tydings, president of CGTC, accepted a commemorative plaque, presented by Dr. Linda Smyth, chair of the Board of Directors of the Middle Georgia Clean Cities Coalition, on behalf of Al Ebron, NAFTC Executive Director. Dr. Smyth noted that the institution is one of 37 member institutions across the United States that make up the NAFTC, which is the only nationwide alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) and advanced technology vehicle training organization in the U.S.

"Alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, such as those powered by biodiesel, ethanol, natural gas, hydrogen, propane, fuel-cell, and hybrid electric systems, are a means for improving air quality and breaking America's addiction to foreign oil," said Ebron. "NAFTC National Training Centers help promote the adoption of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, while preparing an adequate workforce to support them, through a variety of automotive training programs for technicians, fleet managers, public safety and first responder organizations, as well as the general public."

New Consortium Member

CGTC became an NAFTC National Training Center after a comprehensive application and review process, verifying their dedication to furthering the advancement, understanding, and use of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. In addition, each NTC makes the commitment to serve as a catalyst in the progression of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles by forming partnerships with entities such as local utilities, fleet managers, high schools, and any other private or public organization that would benefit from learning about AFVs.

"Supporting the advancement of energy independence through alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles and advanced technology curriculum and industry training allows us to insure that our automotive program students and instructors have the necessary tools to continue our reputation of excellence," said Becky Lee, Vice President of Economic Developemnt at CGTC. "Technical colleges continue to grow in value as they address the needs of their communities. CGTC is recognized as a leader in joining forces with many local, state and national partners to move forward with initiatives that stand to greatly impact the future of the college, the region and its citizens. Becoming a member of the NAFTC serves to strengthen our commitment to make a difference in the lives of students and help the communities we serve grow and prosper."

WVU-State Partnership to Receive $500,000 Stimulus Funding to Save Energy and Jobs Return to top

6 November 2009 - Morgantown, W.Va.—An action team spearheaded by the West Virginia Division of Energy and featuring West Virginia University expertise has been selected to receive a $500,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to work on ways to help businesses in a multi-state region save energy, improve the environment, and create and preserve jobs.

"West Virginia has always been an energy state and our role in the securing our nation’s energy future is more important now than ever," said Gov. Joe Manchin. "The best way to start ensuring our energy security is to find ways to reduce our demand and I’m pleased that the Division of Energy and WVU are partners in this vital project."

"The goal of the project is to give energy-intensive manufacturers the tools they need to save energy, increase their efficiency, reduce their CO2 emissions, and maintain and create jobs," said Bhaskaran Gopolakrishnan, the project director, the IOF-WV Energy Efficiency Fellow and professor of industrial engineering in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.

The funds are in addition to a previously announced three-year Save Energy Now (SEN) program grant of $733,000 from the U.S. DOE Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) for a total $1.233 million in federal funds directed toward helping regional manufacturers with energy efficiency issues.

The initiatives will use the services of Industries of the Future-West Virginia (IOF-WV) of the West Virginia University National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE).

The ARRA awards will allow the team to expand the service region to include eastern Tennessee, central and eastern Kentucky, and southwestern Virginia in addition to West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, and eastern Ohio. The team will also be able to go beyond making energy-saving recommendations to assisting with the implementation of those recommendations through "investment grade assessments."

Additionally, a pilot facility will be chosen in the region to demonstrate an energy management system complying with ANSI/MSE 2000:2008 energy management standards, an upcoming, cutting-edge standard for energy management.

"The project will also allow us to identify research priorities for energy efficiency and promote the development of emerging technologies," said Carl Irwin, IOF-WV Director. "Industries need to anticipate rising energy costs and taking advantage of this service would be a best management practice," said WV Division of Energy Director Jeff Herholdt.

The development and delivery of SEN services will serve to educate and train students for entry into the growing energy economy. "This project in fact lays the groundwork for a model for business entrepreneurs," said Gopalakrishnan.

WVU IOF-WV will be working with Energy and Environmental Efficiency Management Inc. of North Potomac, MD, the North Hampton Community College Energy Management Institute of Bethlehem, PA, and the Industrial Assessment Center at Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, TN.

For more information on the program, businesses can contact, Kathleen Cullen, IOF-WV program coordinator, at 304-293-2867 x5426 or go to the website at www.iofwv.nrcce.wvu.edu.

The US-China Energy Center has been identified to receive $1.25 million in the federal 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Return to top

5 November 2009 - The US-China Energy Center, a joint program of WVU NRCCE and WVU Davis College, has been identified to receive $1.25 million in the federal 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill to conduct an ongoing project about the economic and environmental effects of the world's first commercial scale "direct" coal-to-liquids plant in China's Inner Mongolia region. The Center coordinates the efforts of researchers across WVU and at federal research agencies for the project. The work is part of Annex II of the US-China Protocol on Cooperation in the Field of Fossil Energy Technology Development and Utilization signed by the U.S. Department of Energy. The US-China Energy Center's leadership includes Jerald J. Fletcher, professor and director of the Natural Resource Analysis Center in the Davis College, Qinyung Sun, assistant director of the US China Energy Center and the Governor's Assistant for China Affairs for the State of West Virginia, and Richard A. Bajura, director of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy. The plant, which is near-operational, will include management of carbon emissions. See the story by Emily Corio of West Virginia Public Broadcasting at http://www.wvpubcast.org/newsarticle.aspx?id=11924

WVU- State Partnership to Receive $500,000 Stimulus Funding to Save Energy and Jobs Return to top

5 November 2009 - A team including Industries of the Future-West Virginia (IOF-WV) of the West Virginia University National Research Center for Coal and Energy and the West Virginia Division of Energy has been chosen to receive an additional $500,000 in stimulus funding for its recently formed energy efficiency partnership, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Energy. The goal—save energy, save the environment, and save and create jobs at regional manufacturers.

The funds are in addition to a previously announced three-year Save Energy Now (SEN) program grant of $733,000 from the U.S. DOE Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) for a total $1.233 million in federal funds.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act monies will allow the team to expand the service region to include eastern Tennessee, central and eastern Kentucky, and southwestern Virginia in addition to West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, and eastern Ohio. The team will also be able to go beyond making energy-saving recommendations to assisting with the implementation of those recommendations through "investment grade assessments."

Additionally, a pilot facility will be chosen in the region to demonstrate an energy management system complying with ANSI/MSE 2000:2008 energy management standards, an upcoming, cutting-edge standard for energy management.

"The goal is to give energy-intensive manufacturers the tools they need to save energy, increase their efficiency, reduce their CO2 emissions, and maintain and create jobs," said Bhaskaran Gopolakrishnan, the WVU project director.

"The project will also allow us to identify research priorities for energy efficiency and promote the development of emerging technologies," said Carl Irwin, IOF-WV Director. "Industries need to anticipate rising energy costs and taking advantage of this service would be a best management practice," said WV Division of Energy Director Jeff Herholdt.

The development and delivery of SEN services will serve to educate and train students for entry into the growing energy economy. "This project in fact lays the groundwork for a model for business entrepreneurs," said Gopalakrishnan.

WVU IOF-WV will be working with Energy and Environmental Efficiency Management Inc. of North Potomac, MD, the North Hampton Community College Energy Management Institute of Bethlehem, PA, and the Industrial Assessment Center at Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, TN.

For more information on the program, businesses can contact, Kathleen Cullen, IOF-WV program coordinator, at 304-293-2867 x5426 or go to the website at www.iofwv.nrcce.wvu.edu.

Green Design, Green Energy, and Sustainability Return to top

4 November 2009 - presented by: Urmila Diwekar, Vishwamitra Research Institute Center for Uncertain Systems: Tools for Optimization & Management.

This talk presents a systems analysis perspective that extends the traditional design framework to green design, green energy and industrial ecology leading to sustainability. For green design this involves starting the design decisions as early as material selection stage on one end, and managing and planning decisions at the other end. However, uncertainties and multiple and conflicting objectives are inherent in such a design process. This leads to multi-objective optimization problems in the face of uncertainties. Uncertainties increase further in industrial ecology. The concept of overall sustainability goes beyond industrial ecology and brings in time dependent nature of the ecosystem and multi-disciplinary decision making. Optimal control methods and theories from financial literature can be useful in handling the time dependent uncertainties in this problem. Decision making at various stages starting from green design, green energy, to industrial ecology, and sustainability is illustrated for the mercury cycling. Power plant sector is a major source of mercury pollution. In order to circumvent the persistent, bioaccumulative effect of mercury, one has to take decisions at various levels of the cycle starting with greener power systems, industrial symbiosis through trading, and controlling the toxic methyl mercury formation in water bodies and accumulation in aquatic biota. Copy of the full announcement here

Green Design, Green Energy, and Sustainability powerpoint

Brochure

Brownfields Assistance Program goes Statewide Return to top

3 November 2009 - MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University and Marshall University are joining forces to help communities throughout the Mountain State redevelop blighted former industrial sites known as brownfields.

The two universities are seeking communities that would like to apply for up to $5,000 in assistance to redevelop their brownfield sites under a program known as Foundation for Overcoming Challenges and Utilizing Strengths (FOCUS) West Virginia Brownfields.

The program, administered by the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center at WVU, began in 2009 and originally focused on sites in northern West Virginia. Next year, WVU will partner with Marshall's Brownfields Assistance Center to help communities statewide access financial and technical assistance to work on redevelopment efforts. It is funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

"We are pleased that this successful program has expanded to include all of West Virginia. Development professionals across the state will now be able to tap into the funding opportunities and technical assistance that the FOCUS WV Brownfields Program provides," George Carico, program coordinator for the Brownfields Assistance Center at Marshall University said.

The FOCUS WV Brownfields program provides direct financial assistance to communities in the form of small grants, and also helps eligible communities apply for assistance from other sources. According to Patrick Kirby, director of the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center, communities can use the program's resources to better position themselves to compete for federal redevelopment funds, and to help bring additional resources and expertise to West Virginia.

More important, the program, "offers communities a starting point to create a plan of action to turn community eyesores into assets," Kirby said.

Communities often redevelop brownfield properties to include a strategic community interest, Kirby said. Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized properties that have not been redeveloped due to real or perceived environmental barriers. Examples include former gas stations, glass factories, machine shops, manufacturing and processing facilities, dry cleaners and mine scarred lands.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to participate in one of the web-based conference call training sessions on Dec. 1 and 3 at noon. RSVP to: focuswv@mail.wvu.edu or (304) 293-2867 x 5447.

Information about the FOCUS WV Brownfields Program is at www.wvbrownfields.com. The Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center is at the West Virginia Water Research Institute, at WVU's National Research Center for Coal & Energy; the Brownfields Assistance Center at Marshall University is in the Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences.

New Web site about drinking water issues available to small communities Return to top

2 November 2009 - MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- A new Web site featuring free articles and educational resources designed to increase awareness about crucial water and wastewater issues is now available.

The Web site, located at www.nesc.wvu.edu/waterwedrink, is part of "The Water We Drink: Small Community Outreach Campaign," which offers information about maintaining safe, sustainable, and secure water supplies in small and rural communities.

The campaign is a joint effort by the Rural Community Assistant Partnership (RCAP) and the National Environmental Services Center (NESC), located at West Virginia University, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

RCAP's Director of Training and Technical Services Joy Barrett, Ph.D., says, "The materials present practical, doable steps that local leaders and small water utility board members can take to address day-to-day challenges, such as aging infrastructure, workforce shortages and water pollution, that can threaten local water sources and services. Our main message is that local leadership is essential in protecting and maintaining these critical services, and there are many options for taking action."

Sandra Fallon, NESC training specialist, adds, "The Web site's articles encourage local leaders to be proactive and work with their water systems to address infrastructure problems and labor shortages by, for example, implementing an asset management program or partnering with local high schools and colleges to introduce students to water industry careers. The educational resources address keeping pharmaceuticals and personal care products out of our waterways by educating residents about proper disposal methods and starting a community-wide prescription drug collection and disposal program."

The Web site offers newsletter articles, brochures, a PowerPoint presentation and fact sheets that are available free to download for educational and nonprofit uses, such as reprinting in newsletters or magazines, distributing via e-mail or Internet, or using for training or public presentations. Additional resources will be added throughout the coming year.

For more information about the campaign or Web site, contact Fallon at 1-800-624-8301, ext. 5582, or at sfallon@mail.wvu.edu.

RCAP is a federally funded nonprofit organization that provides free water and wastewater training and assistance to rural communities and tribes. For more information about RCAP, call (800) 321-7227 or log onto www.rcap.org.

Housed at WVU's National Research Center for Coal and Energy, NESC is a federally funded program that helps small and rural communities with their water, wastewater, management, and infrastructure resilience challenges. To learn more about NESC, call (800) 624-8301 or visit www.nesc.wvu.edu.

WVU NRCCE Is a Partner in HARC

IOGCC Selects HARC Program for Stewardship Award Return to top

The Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems (EFD) Program, a collaborative project led by the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), has been selected by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission's Stewardship Award Subcommittee as the winner in the Environmental Partnership category. The IOGCC award was presented at the Commission's annual meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi, on October 5.

Created in 2005, the EFD program is a partnership of HARC, Texas A&M University, Sam Houston State University, the University of Arkansas, the University of Colorado, West Virginia University and TerraPlatforms, L.L.C. It is co-funded by the US Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory, the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America and a number of environmental organizations, government agencies, and industry sponsors including major integrated and independent operators, service companies and suppliers. The program has become a clearinghouse of knowledge on reducing the impact of oil and gas operations through presentations, publications and website: www.efdsystems.com.

Since its inception in 1935, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) has voiced the need for sound oil and natural gas environmental policy. In 2001, the IOGCC initiated the annual Chairman's Stewardship Awards, representing the Commission's highest honor for exemplary efforts in environmental stewardship. The awards recognize achievement and challenge organizations, companies and individuals nationwide to demonstrate innovation, dedication and passion for our environment.

The EFD program seeks to

The program involves industry, the public, environmental organizations, and elected officials in a collaboration that addresses concerns on development of unconventional natural gas resources in environmentally sensitive areas. Partners bring their regional expertise together in a synergistic manner to address the needs across the country.

Dr. Richard Haut, project director and principal investigator of the EFD program, explained that the project seeks to reduce environmental tradeoffs associated with operations for unconventional natural gas and, at the same time, to involve all stakeholders in the process. "Our program aims to foster dialogue among the public, industry, environmental organizations, academia, and government agencies/regulators so together we can develop the best drilling methods to safeguard environmentally sensitive ecosystems."

Mike Smith, Executive Director of the IOGCC, said that the Environmental Partnership award presented to the EFD program recognizes an innovative project led by a non-industry organization in cooperation with industry partners. "The EFD program is an outstanding example of what the award represents," Smith said.

Created in 1982, HARC is a not-for-profit organization based in The Woodlands, Texas, dedicated to improving human and ecosystem well-being through the application of sustainability science and principles of sustainable development.

The IOGCC, representing the governors of 30 member and eight associate states, promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of the nation's oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety, and the environment. Established by the charter member states' governors in 1935, it is the oldest, largest, and most effective interstate compact in the nation.

For more information, contact Rich Haut at 281-364-6093 or rhaut@harc.edu.

You can view this press release on the HARC Website at www.HARConline.net/Press/IOGCC/

NRCCE Participates in Green Jobs for Girls Event Return to top

NRCCE Deputy Director Trina Wafle, WV Water Research Institute Program Coordinator and researcher Jen Fulton, and WVU students Erica Sladky and Anne Mallow spoke to 7th and 8th grade girls from Wood County schools about pursuing science and math careers at the recent Expand Your Horizons Green Jobs for Girls event. IOF-WV staff members Kathleen Cullen and Ed Crowe were part of the planning team that organized the activity which was coordinated by the Volunteer Action Center of Parkersburg and conducted at WVU-Parkersburg. See more about the event at... http://newsandsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/522767.html?nav=5056

Eighth Grade Girls Go Green video

Webinar: EPA's Proposed Rule for Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide Return to top

Webinar: EPA's Proposed Rule for Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide
An information-sharing session (presentations encouraged, see below)
Thursday, October 8, 2009 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Hosted by WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy

EPA's Proposed Rule for Geologic Sequestration (GS) of Carbon Dioxide - [.pdf 700kb]

To view the webinar presentations, click on link: https://mwmus.webex.com/mwmus/jm.php?PWD=&MK=941289589

Sharon.Belmaggio@mail.wvu.edu

updated October 13, 2009

Smart Grid of Tomorrow on Drawing Boards Today Return to top

The lines that carry power to homes are destined to get smarter and more efficient say researchers from Allegheny Power and WVU. Recently, the West Virginia University Advanced Power and Electricity Research Center (APERC) hosted Harley Mayfield, Allegheny Power Distribution Engineer for West Virginia, who presented a briefing about the utility's $2 million Morgantown Developmental Field Test (DFT) project.

Under the project, Allegheny Power is leading a team of industry researchers who are installing communication and control systems designed to maximize use of the existing power distribution facilities while also minimizing the number of customers affected by power outages. A demonstration field test is currently underway that involves two circuits from the West Run Substation that provides electricity to neighborhoods around Pineview Drive, Chestnut Ridge Road, parts of Stewartstown Road, Willowdale Road, Stewart Street, and a small part of University Avenue.

The work is being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory, Allegheny Power, and other partners. "Outages can be caused by any number of things, from a car hitting a utility pole to wind blowing down power lines. In the area we're studying, we once had power knocked out by a tree limb blown by the wind from a tree 75 feet away from the line," said Mayfield.

The company is installing remotely-controlled automated switches on utility poles that can sense the load, or amount of electricity coursing through the wires, and determine whether the line can accept more power or if the circuit needs to be rerouted because of a fault, such as a downed power line. The logic system will remotely and automatically activate switches that will reconfigure the local distribution system so that more customers can keep their lights on.

"The way local traffic is rerouted to alternate roads near a washed out road, we'll be able to do the same thing with electricity by automatically rerouting power around the area of the fault with the advantage of not overloading those pathways," said Mayfield.

"Once the problem is fixed, we'll be able to reset the system to normal operation, the way barriers and signs are removed once the road is repaired. But we'll be able to do all this with just a few computer keystrokes remotely from our operation station in Greensburg, Pa.," explained Mayfield.

The project is part of a broader Smart Grid initiative. One of the key goals of Smart Grid is to allow the electricity delivery system to monitor itself and automatically detect, analyze, respond to, and restore grid components or network sections to maintain reliability, security, affordability, and power quality.

Allegheny will be working with APERC on a new Smart Grid initiative for the West Virginia Super Circuit. "The objective of the newest project will be to use advanced protection and control schemes along with customers' own storage and generation devices to automate the so-called West Virginia Super Circuit. The scheme would take full advantage of any batteries, solar panels, wind turbines, or diesel generators that customers may own and are willing to share with the larger community," said APERC Director Ali Feliachi.

Such an approach is designed to improve system reliability and reduce the number and length of time of power outages. APERC will be demonstrating the concept in its laboratory.

"The opportunity to work with the APERC team has been a real bonus to the thought processes we have used in designing and integrating the various parts of these Smart Grid initiatives," said Mayfield.

"Combining the APERC academic approach with the strictly business model I am used to employing has opened my mind to several options I would probably not have considered on my own. It has been a treat to return to the place I received my engineering education from and see the advances made in the program," he said.

"Working with Allegheny Power will allow us to test our lab and research results on a real-world system and provide our students with a unique hands-on experience," said Ali Feliachi, APERC director. "Our team is really excited about collaborating and we are looking forward to a productive and long partnership with Allegheny Power."

The WVU APERC program is a spinoff of the U.S. Department of Energy Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, a program coordinated by the WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy. "APERC is one of the success stories of the DOE EPSCoR program," said Trina Karolchik Wafle, deputy director of the NRCCE.

Posted September, 4, 2009


DOE Again Chooses WVU-Based Alternative Fuels Consortium for $1.6M Educational Mission Return to top

For the second time in a month, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has looked to the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC), headquartered at West Virginia University's National Research Center for Coal and Energy for help; this time to provide educational assistance in reducing America's petroleum use.

NAFTC Director Al Ebron reported that DOE has selected the NAFTC to receive $1.6 million to develop classroom materials to raise awareness of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. This award is part of the Clean Cities' Fiscal Year 2009 Petroleum Reduction Technologies Projects funding for the Transportation Sector.

"I am absolutely thrilled with this award," said Ebron. "The NAFTC has long worked with the U.S. DOE Clean Cities Program. Our National Training Centers have partnered with many of the local Clean Cities Coalitions around the country. This award will formalize a partnership between the NAFTC and the U.S. DOE and I feel sure it will energize the U.S. DOE Clean Cities Program."

The NAFTC award was one of 23 projects funded under DOE's Clean Cities Program with $13.6 million that will fund infrastructure, vehicle, and educational projects to increase availability and awareness of alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles. The NAFTC award, which will fund the development of a Clean Cities Learning Program, was one of the largest of only three awards specifically granted for educational projects. This program will help implement petroleum reduction technologies, while training Clean Cities Coordinators, technicians, first responders, instructors, and many others.

In early August, DOE made the announcement that the NAFTC will receive $6.9 million to allow the NAFTC to spearhead educational outreach initiatives related to the manufacture and deployment of advanced electric drive vehicles, batteries and components. The new $1.6 million is in addition to the previously announced award.

WVU's NAFTC, which was founded in 1992, is the only nationwide training organization dedicated to improving air quality and decreasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil by promoting, supporting and expanding the use of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. It develops and disseminates curricula for auto technicians, fleet managers, automotive trainers and others in the alternative fuel vehicle field.

With National Training Centers from Maine to California, the organization provides Training with Impact through its experienced instructors and real-world shop facilities. The NAFTC produces the nation's largest non-profit consumer education program – National AFV Day Odyssey – designed to create public awareness and enthusiasm for alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.

The NAFTC offers training in the form of classes and workshops on a wide array of topics such as biodiesel, ethanol, hybrids, hydrogen, fuel cells, natural gas, battery-powered electric vehicles, and propane. Courses on transient emissions testing and AFV applications for forklift and material handling are also available. Previous audiences have included automotive technicians, employers, fleet operators, training institutions, public interest groups, and private entrepreneurs.

Additional information on the NAFTC can be found at www.naftc.wvu.edu.

Posted September, 4, 2009


WVU gets $1 million to research Marcellus natural gas field waste water treatment processReturn to top

West Virginia University's Water Research Institute (WVWRI) received $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to study ways to cleanse salty water that is produced when gas fields are developed in the Marcellus Shale formation.

"The Marcellus Shale has enormous economic potential for the region but water management is critical to protect the environmental health of the region's streams and rivers," Dr. Paul Ziemkiewcz, institute director, said.

Marcellus Shale, is a unit of marine sedimentary rock found in eastern North America that extends throughout much of Appalachia. The shale contains one of the nation's largest, new natural gas reserves. Its proximity to the East Coast market makes it an important component of the nation's energy future. The shale stretches 600 miles and some experts believe it could contain 4,359 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.

Ziemkiewcz will lead the project team which will include experts in petroleum geology, chemistry and the staff of FilterSure, Inc., a private company.

He said that development of the Marcellus gas reserves relies on "hydro-fracturing" the formation. Hydro-fracturing is a process that requires huge supplies of fresh water - between one and six million gallons per well. Nearly all of that comes from streams and rivers. About half of that water remains in the ground while the other half comes back up the well to the surface. The technique was perfected in the last couple of decades.

Ziemkiewcz said that when water returns to the surface, it contains very high salt levels. Currently, the water is trucked to an approved disposal site. Trucking and disposal are expensive. Surface water would be conserved and disposal costs would be lowered if that water could be cleaned to the point where it could be recycled for the next fracturing job.

"Suspended particles of rock, chemical precipitates and salts must be removed," Ziemkiewcz explained. "Otherwise, they would clog up the underground fractures needed to allow the natural gas to flow back to the well."

A large component of the project will be application of FilterSure's, non-clogging filtration unit, which could be brought onto a Marcellus well site to process brines that would remove suspended particles. The treated water would then be suitable for further processing to remove salts.

Ziemkiewcz's project team will evaluate existing salt removal methods and develop novel approaches for brine treatment that could also be brought onto a well site and work in tandem with the FilterSure unit. The goal is to develop a zero-discharge method for brine management at gas wells.

The 32-month project will consist of a laboratory phase and, finally, a field demonstration of the technology to determine performance and cost factors under operating conditions. Several oil and gas producing companies have agreed to cooperate with the project by donating water samples for testing and providing field sites for verification of performance.

For more information contact Paul Ziemkiewicz, WVWRI Director, at (304) 293-2867, ext. 5441.

Posted August 26, 2009


WVU-Based Alternative Fuel Training Consortium Nets $6.9 million ARRA GrantReturn to top

The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC), headquartered at West Virginia University's National Research Center for Coal and Energy, has been awarded a $6.9 million grant through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) to spearhead educational outreach initiatives related to the manufacture and deployment of electric vehicles, batteries, and components.

The award was one of 48 new advanced battery and electric drive projects that will receive $2.4 billion in funding under ARRA. The projects were selected through a highly competitive process by the U.S. Department of Energy and are intended to accelerate the development of U.S. manufacturing capacity for batteries and electric drive components as well as the deployment of electric drive vehicles.

"This award comes as a result of years of hard work and dedication within an industry that continues to change," said Al Ebron, NAFTC Executive Director. "It creates a great opportunity to expand our partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and expand our network of national training institutions and work with other industry partners."

The NAFTC funding is for education and workforce training programs to train researchers, technicians, and service providers, and to conduct consumer research to accelerate the transition towards advanced vehicles and batteries.

"We are extremely excited about this project," Ebron added. "The project will allow us to provide education and outreach to the general public, secondary school students, pre-service and in-service automotive technicians, instructors and others to promote the use of advanced electric drive vehicles across the U.S. The announcement of this award illustrates the Government's dedication to the adoption of advanced technology vehicles, and the need for education and outreach to promote their widespread acceptance and use by the public."

The DOE awards were announced in locations throughout the U.S. Wednesday by President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

NAFTC Staff-NRCCE, WVU

WVU's NAFTC is the only nationwide training organization dedicated to improving air quality and decreasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil by promoting, supporting, and expanding the use of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. It develops and disseminates curricula for in-service and pre-service auto technicians, fleet managers, automotive trainers, and others in the AFV field.

Presently consisting of 40 National Training Centers, the organization provides Training with Impact through its experienced instructors and real-world shop facilities. The NAFTC produces the nation's largest non-profit consumer education program, National AFV Day Odyssey, designed to create public awareness and enthusiasm for alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.

The NAFTC offers training in the form of classes and workshops on a wide array of topics such as biodiesel, ethanol, hybrids, hydrogen, fuel cells, natural gas (CNG cylinder inspection, LNG, and light- and heavy-duty vehicles), battery-powered electric vehicles, and propane. Courses on transient emissions testing and AFV applications for forklift and material handling are also available. Previous audiences have included automotive technicians, employers, fleet operators, training institutions, public interest groups, and private entrepreneurs.

Founded in 1992, the NAFTC is headquartered at West Virginia University and consists of National Training Centers spanning the country from Maine to California. Numerous other members from secondary schools, small businesses, government, and industry also support the NAFTC's mission to provide the training infrastructure for implementing the widespread use of alternative fuels, alternative fuel vehicles, and advanced technology vehicles. Additional information on the NAFTC can be found at www.naftc.wvu.edu.

DOE's news release is available here: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/daily.cfm/hp_news_id=192

Posted August 10, 2009


RPSEA Fellowship/Scholarship Program Spotlight on WVUReturn to top

NRCCE coordinates WVU's participation in the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America or RPSEA. RPSEA, whose members are from industry and academia, is a non-profit corporation established to help meet the nation's growing need for hydrocarbon resources, especially oil and gas produced from reservoirs in America. One of the benefits of the partnership is fellowships for students, as described in the interview below, which appeared in the RPSEA Resource, an online newsletter for members.

Ross Schwietzer Photo, WVU

Ross Schwietzer, RPSEA fellowship recipient, graduated from the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources this past spring.

The Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, or RPSEA, created the Fellowship/Scholarship Program to establish long-term industry/education partnerships. RPSEA members Schlumberger and Strata Production designate financial resources through RPSEA to award multiple scholarships to the following member universities: Colorado School of Mines, Louisiana State University, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Stanford University, Texas A&M University, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Oklahoma and West Virginia University. The most promising students with studies relevant to the oil and gas industry are awarded fellowships to help with their education and/or research activities. Through private funding from these two members, $240,000 is established for these member universities to provide much needed support for 16 students per year for three years.

West Virginia University graduate Ross Schweitzer was awarded a fellowship through the Fellowship/Scholarship Program for the 2008-09 school year. RPSEA spotlights Schweitzer this month in the following interview, while wishing him success in his new position with RPSEA member Devon Energy Corporation.

1. What was the title of your dissertation?
A Study of the Effects of Well and Fracture Design in a Typical Marcellus Shale Well

2. Where did your project take place?
Morgantown, West Virginia

3. What school were you attending during the fellowship?
West Virginia University

4. What was your degree and major while working on the fellowship?
Master of Science in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

5. What was the time frame spent on the entire project?
The total time was two years from the start of graduate school, from 08/07 to 05/09.

6. Why did you pick this focus for your project?
Initially, I was planning on doing a re-fracture study with data from the company where I had been interning. However, due to restricted information of the newly developing Marcellus formation and the difficultly in modeling re-fractures in shale, that study was unable to happen. Therefore, since I was already working in the Marcellus, I conducted simulations using Schlumberger's Eclipse software. Many runs were conducted with varying well design and fracture types in the Marcellus, followed by an economic analysis.

7. What were the major accomplishments of your project?
The project as a whole was a great accomplishment, but the results were the most interesting. It was found that the horizontal wells were more economical than vertical wells in the play as expected, along with fracture half length being a key parameter in the economic analysis. It was shown that the more money spent up front in larger fracture half lengths and longer laterals created a more economical well in the long run.

8. How did RPSEA help you achieve your project goals?
RPSEA helped me out tremendously; I cannot express my appreciation enough. The funding through RPSEA allowed me to further my education, without any strain to my finances. The opportunity allowed me to earn my master's in PNGE and move into the energy industry.

9. How have you grown both personally and professionally from your fellowship with RPSEA?
RPSEA has allowed me to grow through its generous contributions to further my education and better myself in my life and in my career. The opportunities for my professional growth and personal well being are going to be from the start that RPSEA has given me. Hopefully, I will be working in the energy business for the rest of my life.

10. What is your role today?
I just started working for Devon Energy as a drilling engineer, working in the Barnett Shale. I also plan to continue my education and work towards a master's in business administration.

Posted July 29, 2009


WVU-based consortium implements cutting edge hybrid vehicle trainingReturn to top

Program leads to certification for hybrid and electric vehicle propulsion system instructors

MORGANTOWN, WV – The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC), headquartered at West Virginia University, is playing a key role in preparing Americans for increased use of hybrid and electric vehicles by offering certification training for propulsion systems instructors.

Members of the consortium from throughout the US will journey to Morgantown for the new hybrid vehicle training program developed in partnership with Automotive Research and Design, Inc. (AR&D), a technology company that specializes in the development of training materials that support electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle propulsion systems.

Al Ebron, NAFTC executive director, explained that, "With the growing interest in vehicles powered by electric drive, there is a significant need for training more people on how to use and maintain the propulsion systems. This training package was designed and is presented to train the people who will end up teaching others."

He said that NAFTC members, who are primarily from other universities and community colleges, will be in Morgantown June 22-26 to attend the first "train-the- trainer" session. The training will prepare the participants to return to their own schools to implement the course into their automotive programs or teach a growing number of independent garage owners and automobile dealers who wish to learn more about maintaining the new propulsion systems.

"The course will also ultimately benefit high school instructors and other target audiences," Ebron said. "The initiative will allow the trainer a great deal of flexibility to offer classes from 1-5 days in length for adult learners or as a semester or multi-semester class for students."

NAFTC is a nationwide training organization that develops curricula and conducts training, and conducts education and outreach activities, on alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and related technologies. With National Training Centers located nationwide from Maine to California, each center provides Training with Impact through its experienced instructors and real-world shop facilities. Numerous other members from secondary schools, small businesses, government, and industry also support the NAFTC's mission. For additional information on the NAFTC, visit www.naftc.wvu.edu or call 304-293-7882.

Contact: Judy Moore, National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium, West Virginia University, 304/293-7882 or 304/216-3021

Posted June 14, 2009


Washington Coal Club Welcomes WVU Expert to Discuss Renewable Energy Production on Mined Lands in AppalachiaReturn to top

Morgantown, WV—Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute (WVWRI) of the WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy, spoke to the Washington Coal Club about the work the WVWRI is doing that would help keep energy production a viable part of the Appalachian economy after coal is mined. The WCC meets monthly to hear from experts about the latest trends in energy.

Ziemkiewicz is recognized nationally and internationally for his work in mine land reclamation. In his presentation, Options for Post Mining Land use in Southern West Virginia, Ziemkiewicz described WVWRI studies to develop a framework for the establishment of sustainable energy production on mine-scarred lands. Many of these formerly mined sites offer outstanding opportunities for the development of renewable energy resources such as biomass, wind, and solar power. The strategy has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen our dependence on foreign sources of energy while helping to support rural economies, said Ziemkiewicz.

Ziemkiewicz's presentation is available at:
http://wvwri.nrcce.wvu.edu/docs/Washington_Coal_Club_10Jun09.pdf

The West Virginia Water Research Institute, a program of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at WVU, coordinates programs focused on preserving and restoring the natural environment through research and partnerships with industry, government agencies, academia and the public. Using the expertise of faculty from across the campus of WVU, many of the Institute's programs focus on solving environmental problems associated with energy production in the Appalachian Region.

The Washington Coal Club is a District of Columbia non-profit organization which meets monthly to provide a forum with knowledgeable speakers to discuss coal and industry related matters. The diverse membership includes coal producers, users and transporters, federal and state legislators, associations focused on coal's role in the American economy, researchers, and policy makers.

For more information about WVWRI programs and services contact Dave Saville at 304-293-2867 x 5458.

Posted June 16, 2009


Spring Issue of West Virginia Brownfields Post Now OnlineReturn to top

Inside this issue:

Access the pdf file at:

http://wvwri.nrcce.wvu.edu/programs/nwvbac/docs/2009_Spring-Quarterly-Newsletter.pdf

The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center is a program of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, a division of the National Research Center for Coal & Energy at West Virginia University.

Posted June 10, 2009


NAFTC offers Hybrid Electric Vehicle Train-the-Trainer Course in June and JulyReturn to top

Become a Leader in the Industry and Train the Future Now

 

Are you up-to-date on automotive technology? With the rapid advancements of the industry, it is easy to feel left behind and overwhelmed. The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) provides education and training programs that will assist you in bringing your knowledge, and/or your automotive program, up-to-date.

The Train-the-Trainer Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Propulsion Systems Course is available June 22-26, 2009 in Morgantown, WV, and July 13-17, 2009 in Madison, WI.

For more information go to:

http://www.naftc.wvu.edu/NAFTC/announcements/green_up_june.html

The NAFTC is a program of the NRCCE headquartered at West Virginia University and consists of National Training Centers (NTCs) located nationwide from New York to California.

Posted June 10, 2009


Newest IOF Monthly Update AvailableReturn to top

June Issue Features "The Role of Science & Technology at West Virginia University"

The article is by Curt M. Peterson, West Virginia University's vice president of research and economic development. Access the pdf file at:

http://www.iofwv.nrcce.wvu.edu/publications/updates/2009/June2009.pdf

Posted June 10, 2009


NRCCE's Brownfields program helps WV communities win $1 million in Recovery Act fundingReturn to top

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a total of $1 million to four communities in northern West Virginia to assess, clean up and revitalize former industrial and commercial sites. The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (NBAC) at West Virginia University (WVU) was instrumental in helping these communities identify projects and find funding to address the problems associated with these sites. These grants will help turn problem properties, known as "brownfields," into productive community assets.

Patrick Kirby, Director of NBAC said, "These communities have worked very hard on their redevelopment vision. This funding will help move their communities to the next stage of revitalization. We're excited to continue assisting these communities as they work to realize their vision."

Funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 have been awarded to the City of Moundsville ($200,000) to clean up the Fostoria Glass Plant site where buildings and soil are contaminated; and to the Preston County Economic Development Authority ($200,000) to help assess properties impacted by acid mine drainage and erosion from timber operations. The EPA is providing general funds from its brownfields program to the Brooke-Hancock Regional Planning and Development Council ($400,000) to assess brownfields properties in the former nationally recognized steel manufacturing area; and to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP; $200,000) to assess hazardous materials brownfield sites with a focus on rural areas such as Ritchie County.

"These communities are initiating a process of effective management of potentially environmentally compromised properties and embracing smart growth initiatives that will improve the quality of life for their residents," said Ken Ellison, Director of the WVDEP Division of Land Restoration. "I am very excited about this expanded opportunity to inventory, assess, plan, remediate, and redevelop brownfield sites. This effort can provide much needed suitable land for development in West Virginia while increasing conservation of open spaces and greenfields."

The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center is a program of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, a division of the National Research Center for Coal & Energy at West Virginia University.

For more information on these projects and the services provided by the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center, contact:

Patrick Kirby, Director
Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center
West Virginia University
(phone) 304-293-2867 x 5459, (e-mail) Patrick.Kirby@mail.wvu.edu

Posted May 21, 2009


Member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers Climate Change Task Force:

WVU energy center director among experts offering carbon dioxide recommendations to members of Congress today and tomorrowReturn to top

Morgantown, W.Va.—Richard Bajura, director of the West Virginia University National Research Center for Coal and Energy, is among a group energy experts meeting today and tomorrow with members of Congress and their staffs to present technology and policy recommendations and goals for reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the energy sector.

The recommendations appear in the American Society of Mechanical Engineering 35-page publication, General Position Statement on Technology and Policy Recommendations and Goals for Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions in the Energy Sector, for which Bajura is a co-author.

The report was prepared by ASME's Climate Change Task Force and was released last month. Bajura is the Coal/Power member of the task force.

The ASME report details a variety of options for reducing carbon dioxide emissions in both the power generation and transportation sectors. Climate change researchers link carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, to the warming of the Earth. The report notes that, "Coal fuels more than 40 percent of global electricity generation and 50 percent of U.S. electricity" and calls for technologies to capture and store the carbon dioxide, known as CCS technologies.

The report states, "If, as expected, coal maintains a major role in U.S. electric power production, applying CCS technologies to nearly all new coal-based power plants entering service after 2020 would make the largest single contribution towards reducing future U.S. electric sector CO2 emissions."

The full report is available online at:
http://files.asme.org/asmeorg/NewsPublicPolicy/GovRelations/PositionStatements/17971.pdf

Bajura and his colleagues are scheduled to meet with staff members and select members of Congress from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee; the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee; the House Committee on Science and Technology; the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; and, the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

Contact: Trina Wafle, NRCCE, (304) 293-2867 x5402

Posted May 18, 2009


NRCCE hosting "EPA CO2 Endangerment Findings" webinarReturn to top

The National Research Center for Coal and Energy has paid the registration fee to show a webinar produced by InfoCast entitled "EPA CO2 Endangerment Finding" on Thursday, April 30, 1-2:30 pm in NRCCE Conference Room 125.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has forwarded to the Whitehouse an "endangerment finding" under the Clean Air Act that would lay the foundation for EPA greenhouse gas emission regulations under the Act. The webinar will feature a panel discussion on these findings.

The endangerment findings, while on the one hand regarded as a Sword of Damocles hanging over a Congress that regards taking on climate change legislation as politically difficult, would also trigger a long process involving numerous mechanisms under the Clean Air Act that ultimately implies a rulemaking proceeding.

Combined with the recently introduced proposed regulation requiring many industries and businesses to report their GHG emissions, the stage is set for the EPA to develop the basis for a greenhouse gas regulatory system.

The panel will discuss the recently announced finding, what the process entails going forward, and the implications for large GHG emitters. The following questions will be addressed:

MODERATOR:
William L. Wehrum, Partner, Hunton & Williams

PANELISTS:
David Bookbinder, Chief Climate Counsel, Sierra Club
Claudia O'Brien, Partner, Latham & Watkins, Co-Chair, Latham & Watkins Climate Change Practice
William Kovacs, Vice President, U.S. Chamber Environmental and Regulatory Affairs Department (invited)

For more information: (304) 293-2867 x5421, tracy.novak@mail.wvu.edu

Posted April 22, 2009


Media Are Invited to Cover Workshop:

Energy Strategies in Challenging Economic Times with Uncertain Environmental RegulationsReturn to top

 

Kelley Goes, West Virginia secretary of commerce, will join representatives from government, industry, academic research and other groups April 22 - 23, at the WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE) to discuss global and national energy and regulation issues.

[ Read More... ] (pdf file)

Posted April 20, 2009


WVU NRCCE Receives $733,000 DOE Grant

Industries of the Future-WV Creates Energy Efficiency Partnership to Help Regional Industries in WV, PA, OHReturn to top

 

Industries of the Future-West Virginia (IOF-WV) of the West Virginia University National Research Center for Coal and Energy recently formed an energy efficiency partnership that is the recipient of a three-year grant for $733,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program (ITP).

"Energy efficiency can result in a significant cost reduction for businesses and the possibility of additional job creation in the region," said Dr. Bhaskaran Gopalakrishnan, the principal investigator of the project. Gopalakishnan, a WVU Industrial Engineering professor, is the director of the WVU Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) and is the IOF-WV Energy Efficiency Research Fellow.

Project team partners include IOF-WV, the IAC, Energy and Environmental Efficiency Management Inc. of North Potomac, MD, and the North Hampton Community College Energy Management Institute of Bethlehem, PA who will work with regional industries to save energy. The team will work with industries in West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, and eastern Ohio.

"With this funding, we'll help companies create a strategy to achieve up to a 25 pecent energy intensity reduction in 10 years. We'll do this by conducting energy assessments and then developing individualized industrial energy efficiency technology delivery services and programs," said Gopalakrishnan.

"As many as 40 assessments a year are possible at varying levels of complexity to address the needs of the clients," said Gopalakrishnan. "Some will be as simple as a phone consultation. Others will be more complex energy assessments and strategies that will work toward the 25 percent energy intensity reduction goal."

"This project also lays the groundwork for the development of effective energy assessment processes, an energy efficiency knowledge center and subsequently a model for business entrepreneurs," he added.

Companies and other organizations participating at the current time are:

Additional companies will be added as the project proceeds through the it's marketing and outreach component.

"We will be advertising the energy efficiency audits and technical resources at six regional workshops, a series of local and statewide presentations, on-site visits, and the project website," said Kathleen Cullen, IOF-WV program coordinator. "We'll be showcasing our success stories in an electronic newsletter that will be distributed to over 2,000 industrial contacts and providing ongoing information to media outlets and state and local publications."

The IOF-WV partnership project was one of 12 applicants to be awarded grant money totaling $9 million from the U.S. Department of Energy. IOF-WV submitted the proposal through the WV Division of Energy.

"Because we were one of 12 projects chosen, we expect national coverage by the DOE's Save Energy Now and the Industrial Technologies Program," Cullen said.

The grant was awarded through a federal competitive process and builds on the success of ITP's Save Energy Now initiative. Applicants were chosen based on their efforts to find industrial facilities that can achieve energy intensity reduction of a least 2.5 to 3 percent annually over 10 years.

The DOE provided $733,000 of grant funding for the project with the NRCCE adding $225,000 in cost sharing, giving a project total of $958,000.

For more information on the program, businesses can contact, Kathleen Cullen, IOF-WV program coordinator, at 304-293-2867 x5426 or go to the website at www.iofwv.nrcce.wvu.edu.

IOF-WV is West Virginia's industrial energy efficiency program under a partnership between the West Virginia Division of Energy and the WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy. The goal of IOF-WV is to assess high priority research needs and develop projects that improve energy efficiency and environmental performance of manufacturers.

Since 1997 when IOF-WV was established as the first state-level IOF program , IOF-WV teams have obtained $23,731,956 in competitively awarded federal and state funding and $10,898,443 in non-federal cost share for a cumulative R&D value to the state of $34,630,399.

Access IOF-WV website

IOF-WV:

Press Release Contact: Kathleen Cullen, Industries of the Future-WV
Kathleen.Cullen@mail.wvu.edu (e-mail), (304) 293-2867 x5426 (office phone)

Posted April 9, 2009


NAFTC Offers Spring TrainingReturn to top

 

The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) is the only nationwide training organization dedicated to improving air quality and decreasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil by promoting, supporting, and expanding the use of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. This spring, NAFTC offers a variety of training. Please see the up-and-coming schedule below. Click on the links for more information.

CNG Fuel Systems Inspector Training
Tuesday, May 19 and Wednesday, May 20

The training courses listed above will take place at:

National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC)
West Virginia University
1100 Frederick Lane
Morgantown, WV 26508

Directions: http://www.naftc.wvu.edu/NAFTC/about/driving.html

For more information and updates about upcoming NAFTC training in WV and other states go to: http://www.naftc.wvu.edu/NAFTC/training/Training_Agenda.cfm

NAFTC is a program of the NRCCE headquartered at West Virginia University and consists of National Training Centers (NTCs) located nationwide from New York to California.

Posted April 8, 2009


New Educational Materials for Drinking Water ProfessionalsReturn to top

 

The National Environmental Services Center (NESC) is pleased to offer these new educational materials, mostly dedicated the wellhead protection. Shipping charges apply to all orders. To place an order, please note the product number then call (800) 624-8301 or (304) 293-4191. Orders also may be faxed to (304) 293-3161 or sent via e-mail to ndwc_orders@mail.nesc.wvu.edu.

Wellhead Protection: New Well Requirements
This fact sheet explains the special requirements municipal water suppliers must address when adding a new well to their system. Produced by the Minnesota Department of Health, this document also describes the area delineation and assessment of preliminary wellhead protection. Product# is DWFSMG122 Cost: $0.15

Protect Your Family: Test Your Well's Water Quality Today, A Guide to Water Quality Testing for Private Wells in Rhode Island
If you have a private well as a drinking water source, water quality testing is important to you and your family. Some contaminants pose a risk to human health. This pamphlet, produced by the Rhode island Department of Health, describes the recommended tests for the well water. Information about when to test and what the tests tell you is included. Product# is DWBRPE372 Cost: $0.30

Ground Water--"Buried Treasure"
As rain falls to the ground, it moves into the spaces between the soil particles. This is ground water. Used This 4-page fact sheet, produced by the Ground Water Protection Council, explains the basics of ground water use and describes the major threats to ground water quality, The various public agencies that currently oversee ground water protection are listed as well as some practical ways that hoemowneners can join in the efforts. DWFSPE369 Cost: $0.60

Your Household Water Quality: Nitrate in Water
High nitrate levels in your drinking water can cause a condition called methemoglobinemia or blue baby syndrome and impacts not only babies but older people, pregnant women and people who have low stomach acidity. This fact sheet, produced by the University of Georgia, Cooperative Extension Service, gives the homeowners information about what causes nitrate contamination and what they can do if their well tests high in nitrate. Product# is DWFSPE368 Cost: $0.30

Protecting Your Well and Wellhead
Proper protection of your well and wellhead is essential for the health of your family, yourself, and your neighbors. This fact sheet describes the six principles of well head protection developed at the University of Georgia. Using these guide lines will help ensure the safety of your well water. DWFSPE367 Cost: $0.30

Wellhead Protection for Private Domestic Wells
A good supply of fresh water is essential to human existence. It is vital to do everything possible to protect your well and the surrounding area from potential sources of pollution. This article, written by Anthony W. Tyson, Extension Engineer with the University of Georgia, describes the six principles of well head protection: proper well siting, proper well construction, keeping contaminates away, backflow prevention, sealing abandoned wells, and testing well water. Product# is DWFSPE366 Cost: $1.05

Watershed Planning From Start to Finish
This full-color booklet produced by the National Environmental Services Center, presents a four-part series on watershed approaches to water quality problems. Product# is DWBLCS04 Cost $1.50

Ground Water Rule Triggered and Representative Monitoring: A Quick Reference Guide
The purpose of the federal Ground Water Rule(GWR) is to reduce the risk of illness caused by microbial contamination in public ground water systems. The purpose of triggered source water monitoring is to evaluate whether the presence of total coliform in the distribution system is due to fecal contamination in the ground water source. This fact sheet produced by the USEPA provides the regulatory details for a drinking water system, including sampling requirements, exceptions to the requirements and notification requirements in the event that a fecal-positive sample is collected. Product# is DWFSRG118 Cost: Free

Ground Water Rule Sample Collection and Transport: A Quick Reference Guide
The Ground Water Rule requires that systems that do not provide 4-log treatment of viruses for all their ground water sources collect at least one source water sample after detection of total coliform in a routine Total Coliform Rule sample. This fact sheet produced by the USEPA provides authoritative details about the sampling location and the sample collection procedures required in this event. Product# is DWFSRG119 Cost: Free

Wellhead Protection Area Delineation Fact Sheet
The fundamental goal of wellhead protection is to prevent contaminants from entering the water supply. To do this, you must first determine where the water supply is coming from. The process to determine the wellhead protection area is then delineated using size, shape, orientation, and location. This fact sheet from the Minnesota Department of Health breaks down the delineation process into 6 easy-to-follow steps. Product# is DWFSMG124 Cost: $0.30

Evaluating Proposed Stormwater Infiltration Projects in Vulnerable Wellhead Protection Areas
Infiltration practices redirect storm water into the subsurface where it becomes ground water. Ground water often is a source of drinking water, so it is wise to plan storm water infiltration projects carefully, especially in vulnerable wellhead protection areas. This booklet produced by the Minnesota Department of Health describes suggested considerations for evaluating these infiltration projects. Product# is DWBMG123 Cost: $1.65

General Goals and Requirements of Wellhead Protection Q&A
This booklet, produced by the Minnesota Department of Health's Drinking Water Protection Section, offers answers to some of the most common questions that communities might have about wellhead protection. DWFSOM130 Cost: $0.60

Wellhead Protection Tips for Small Public Water Systems
Small public water systems such as residential subdivisions, apartment buildings, or schools, should take steps to protect their wells from contamination. This environmental fact sheet produced by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services describe the six steps required to achieve protection. Product# is DWFSOM132 Cost: $0.60

Nitrate Monitoring Requirements: Community and Non-Community Water Systems
This poster, produced by the USEPA, serves as a reference for how small water systems should sample for nitrates. Instructions are included in the event that nitrate is found and violation limits are defined. Product# is DWPSOM131 Cost: $0.00.

Protect Your Family: Test Your Well's Water Quality Today--A Guide to Water Quality Testing for Private Wells (Massachusetts)
If you have a private well as a drinking water source, water quality testing is important to you and your family. Some contaminants pose a risk to human health. This pamphlet, produced by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Drinking Water Program, describes the recommended tests for the well water. Information about when to test and what the tests tell you is included. Product# is DWBRPE371 Cost: $0.30

Mapping Your Wellhead Protection Area
If we know what may pollute our water supplies, we can take steps to prevent contamination.This fact sheet, produced by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, is for homeowners interested in protecting their wells from contamination. Product# is DWFSPE370 Cost: $0.30

Source Water Assessment & Protection Workshop Guide (Second Edition)
This workshop is designed to provide community representatives with information about source water assessment and protection. This book describes a seven part workshop and includes lessons plans along with overheads and suggested discussion topics for conducting the workshop. This sizable publication is produced by The Groundwater Foundation. Product# is DWBLPE374 Cost: $17.60.

Based at West Virginia University's NRCCE, NESC is a national leader in the areas of drinking water, wastewater, environmental training, solid waste, infrastructure resilience, and utility management in small and rural communities. NESC's engineers and technical experts have been at the forefront of septic system technologies for nearly 30 years. To learn more about NESC, call (800) 624-8301 or visit www.nesc.wvu.edu.

Posted April 8, 2009


Watershed Groups Seek to Share Information

Take advantage of the good ideas in this booklet: Watershed Planning - from Start to FinishReturn to top

 

Morgantown, W.Va.—Water data everywhere and not a byte to share was the lament of organizers of the West Virginia Watershed Network who met on March 17 at West Virginia University National Research Center for Coal and Energy to do something about sharing access to data.

"It takes time and money to gather water quality samples and save that information in databases" said Rick Buckley, branch chief, field support, U.S. Office of Surface Mining. "The Watershed Network thought a forum like this to share data could help avoid duplication of effort and expenses," he said. The West Virginia Watershed Network is an informal group of state and federal agencies, non-profit groups such as local watershed organizations, and research organizations such as the West Virginia Water Research Institute of the WVU NRCCE, who hosted the one-day conference. The watershed organization works collaboratively to support and empower local residents in their efforts toward sustainable management of local water resources.

"WVWRI is happy to host this event because it's in our interest as a research organization to promote sharing of data. Those of us in research feed on data to gain new insights into water quality issues. Plus we all save money and time by sharing," said Brady Gutta, WVWRI research associate.

Friends of the Cheat watershed group reviewed their data management and assessment of water quality in the Cheat River watershed. FOC uses GIS in spatially relating the data. "This information helps us to prioritize our restoration efforts to address acid mine drainage," explained Keith Pitzer of Friends of the Cheat.

"Restoration efforts upstream of Cheat Lake offer benefits for all those who enjoy use of the lake. Fishing, for example, was once impossible because of the acid mine drainage in the watershed," he said. Fishing tournaments now are held routinely in the lake.

Other presentations were made by the U.S. Geological Survey on its water flow gauges and associated database and by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on its Water Quality Exchange database. The WV Department of Agriculture talked about its robust monitoring program that has collected nearly 26,000 samples in West Virginia's eastern panhandle over the last ten years.

WV Department of Environmental Protection experts spoke about water monitoring data with regard to TMDLs which set the amount of pollutants discharged into a stream, the Marcellus Shale where gas production may affect water quality, and selenium which is known to cause problems in aquatic life.

The WV DEP also presented information about ongoing watershed assessments, the Abandoned Mine Lands program, the special reclamation bond forfeiture program, the DEP's geographic information system, and information regarding NPDES program requirements for coal mining permits and other industry operations. The WV Division of Natural Resources presented information about fisheries and wetlands and the statewide fish and habitat classification project that will assist with making decisions about West Virginia's aquatic resources.

The WV Department of Health and Human Services discussed drinking water contaminant data availability under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Access to the data will be available soon on the Drinking Water Watch website. Information about drinking water violations is currently available on the US EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/enviro/html/sidwis/.

Organizers said that about 80 people attended the event. Presentations will be available online at: http://www.wvca.us/wvwn/

Posted March 19, 2009


Working with Watershed Groups?

Take advantage of the good ideas in this booklet: Watershed Planning - from Start to FinishReturn to top

 

Morgantown, W.Va.—In 2007, the National Environmental Services Center (NESC) published a four-part series in On Tap magazine about watershed approaches to water quality problems. The series covered:

Each article in the series includes a case study of the Friends of Deckers Creek, a West Virginia watershed group, chronicling how that group addressed the topics in the article.

Hardcopy
To order your copy of this booklet, call (800) 624-8301 and request item #DWBLCS04. The booklet cost $1.50 (plus shipping) for the general public. SMART communities and trainers can order it for free.

Online
Download a free copy of Watershed Planning - From Start to Finish Skipping Stones (pdf file, 4.9 MB)

You may also place your order by e-mail at info@mail.nesc.wvu.edu.

For more information download and view watershed articles online on the SMART About Water site at http://www.nesc.wvu.edu/smart/sourcewater.cfm.

The NESC also offers this
Watershed Information page.

Based at the West Virginia University NRCCE, NESC is a national leader in the areas of drinking water, wastewater, environmental training, solid waste, infrastructure resilience, and utility management in small and rural communities. NESC's engineers and technical experts have been at the forefront of septic system technologies for 30 years. To learn more about NESC, call (800) 624-8301 or visit http://www.nesc.wvu.edu.

Posted March 11, 2009


NESC Develops Free PSAs

Public Service Announcements Aid Community Water ProtectionReturn to top

 

Morgantown, W.Va.—The National Environmental Services Center (NESC) at WVU announces the availability of three video public service announcements (PSAs) about the importance of septic system maintenance to the homeowner, the environment and water quality. Funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the PSAs reflect NESC's ongoing commitment to effective wastewater treatment and source water protection.

Presented in a humorous light, each brief video drives home the message that homeowners can for safeguard our drinking water through proper septic tank operation and maintenance.

"As many as one-fourth of all new houses in the U.S. have septic or other onsite systems to treat their wastewater," says Gerald Iwan, Ph.D., NESC's executive director. "Therefore, proper maintenance of these systems to prevent costly failures makes particular economic sense today, as well as being an important component to protecting source water quality and the public health. Because we live in a visual age and many, many people get information from television and the Web, it just makes sense to help spread the message through these brief PSAs."

NESC encourages communities to freely use these brief PSAs as part of a public awareness campaign to protect source water.

View and download at the PSAs:
http://www.nesc.wvu.edu/subpages/psa.cfm

Based at the West Virginia University NRCCE, NESC is a national leader in the areas of drinking water, wastewater, environmental training, solid waste, infrastructure resilience, and utility management in small and rural communities. NESC's engineers and technical experts have been at the forefront of septic system technologies for 30 years. To learn more about NESC, call (800) 624-8301 or visit http://www.nesc.wvu.edu.

Posted February 20, 2009


WVU-WVGES Geologist Receives HonorReturn to top

 

Morgantown, W.Va.—Douglas G. Patchen, an internationally respected geologist with West Virginia University and the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, was recognized by the Appalachian Geological Society and inducted as an honorary member at its February 11 meeting at the Waterfront Place Hotel.

"Doug has had a remarkable career spanning 43 years of service to the State of West Virginia. He has made significant contributions to our understanding of the geology of the Appalachian Basin," said Katharine Lee Avary, Manager of the Oil & Gas Program and a Senior Geologist at the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, who cited him for the honor.

The Appalachian Geological Society promotes the development and exchange of advancements in the science of geology, especially related to oil and gas, in the Appalachian region. "Doug has made extensive contributions over the years to the advancement of the science of geology and the natural gas industry. He exemplifies what the AGS strives to promote among our members," said Kerima Haddad, treasurer and past president of the AGS.

Patchen currently directs the Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas Research Consortium and the Appalachian Region of the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council, both programs of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at West Virginia University.

Under Patchen's leadership, the AONGRC produced The Atlas of Major Appalachian Gas Plays and the Geologic Play Book for Trenton-Black River Appalachian Basin Exploration among several other studies and the PTTC has sponsored more than 125 workshops in seven states throughout the Appalachian region.

Patchen is also Chief Geologist with the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey for nearly 40 years. He has authored more than 50 journal articles and presented more than 40 research papers.

Last fall, Patchen received the John T. Galey Memorial Award of the Eastern Section American Association of Petroleum Geologists, its highest honor.

Posted February 18, 2009


WVU Industries of the Future-West Virginia Day set for Feb. 19 at state CapitolReturn to top

 

Morgantown, W.Va.—Spend a day at the state Capitol during the Industries of the Future-West Virginia (IOF-WV) Day on February 19 and discover how companies around the state are becoming more energy efficient.

"The IOF-WV Day at the State Capitol allows businesses to learn about the services and support available to help them save energy and money," said Carl Irwin, Co-Director of IOF-WV. "Also, continuing a tradition over the past few years, we have been invited by the Senate Economic Development Committee to have companies make presentations about their role in the state's economy, products, and concerns. QuadGraphics and Mountainview Solar and Wind will be among this year's presenters." he said.

Exhibits from 24 manufacturing and technology companies, academia, government agencies and other organizations will be set up from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Capitol rotunda area. This event provides excellent networking opportunities for participants with legislators, government agency personnel, and the public.

The Governor's Award for Excellence in Industrial Energy Efficiency will be awarded by Kelly Goes, Secretary of Commerce, and Jeff Herholdt, Director WV Division of Energy, at the 11:45 a.m. luncheon. QuadGraphics of Martinsburg, WV is the recipient of this year's award.

The event is free and open to the public with a registration fee of $10 only for the luncheon.

To register, contact: Kathleen Cullen at (304) 293-2867 ext. 5426 or e-mail: Kathleen.Cullen@mail.wvu.edu

IOF-WV Day at the State Capitol was originally conceived as a way to bring legislator's attention to the diversity of products made in the state. IOF-WV, a joint program of the West Virginia Division of Energy, the West Virginia Development Office and the West Virginia University National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE), works with West Virginia industry to increase energy efficiency, reduce waste, and improve competitiveness.

Visit http://iofwv.nrcce.wvu.edu for more information.

Posted February 18, 2009


WVU Technology Center to Co-host Workshop on Advanced Techniques for Gas Well LoggingReturn to top

 

Morgantown, W.Va.—The Appalachian Basin Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (PTTC) located at West Virginia University's National Research Center for Coal and Energy is co-hosting a one-day advanced well logging workshop with the Appalachian Geological Society on February 12, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown. The workshop will feature experts from Baker Hughes, Schlumberger, and Weatherford.

Instructors will focus on advanced tools designed to give more information about the physical nature and mineral content of an underground resource, whether it is an oil or gas reservoir or a coal seam, without the need for sending rock samples to laboratories for analysis. Information can be gathered immediately at the site saving time. "These well logs are like an EKG of a rock formation," said Doug Patchen, PTTC director.

Registration is limited to 75 students. The registration fee is $100 for those whose paid registrations are received prior to the February 5 and $125 after February 5.

Registration forms and the workshop schedule are available at http://karl.nrcce.wvu.edu/workshops.html.

Posted February 6, 2009


WVU Experts Meet with Chinese Coal to Liquids LeadersReturn to top

 

Morgantown, W.Va.—Seven officials from China's leading research and corporate energy organizations met today with West Virginia University faculty and U.S. Department of Energy and National Energy Technology Laboratory leaders to discuss advances in converting coal to transportation fuels while capturing and storing carbon dioxide emissions.

The meeting was organized by the U.S. China Energy Center, a program of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE) at WVU. The Shenhua Group in China is developing the world's first commercial direct coal liquefaction (DCL) plant in northwestern China at a cost of about $1.5 billion. With support from the U.S. Department of Energy, WVU and Shenhua Group have been evaluating the economic and environmental impacts of the DCL technology.

While commercial coal to liquids processes exist, those processes are known as indirect coal liquefaction and require breaking down coal into molecules of carbon monoxide and hydrogen which are building blocks that are then processed into diesel fuel. Direct coal liquefaction processes attempt to bypass the breakdown of the coal into such small molecules to make liquid fuels directly.

Jerald Fletcher is director of the U.S. China Energy Center at WVU. He and research assistant professor Qingyun Sun of the Natural Resource Analysis Center at WVU will be assessing the economic and environmental impacts of the plant and analyzing the technology transition. Information gained by the researchers will be shared with those in the U.S. to help promote the transfer clean coal technologies.

"Converting coal to transportation fuels in an environmentally safe way requires knowledge from many different kinds of experts," Fletcher said. "Faculty from the departments of Chemical Engineering, Geology and Geography, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Resource Management have been part of an agreement to discuss various aspects of coal to liquids with our guests."

WVU has been working with the U.S. Department of Energy and the China National Development and Reform Commission under an agreement known as the Protocol on Cooperation in the Field of Fossil Energy Technology Development and Utilization since 2002.

"Even with oil at about $40 per barrel we need to consider the long-term ability to provide a sufficient source of liquid fuels on a global scale, including alternative means such as coal to liquids," Lowell Miller, director, of the US DOE Office of Sequestration, Hydrogen, and Clean Coal Fuels said. "Under our agreement, we're helping the Chinese acquire environmental expertise on carbon dioxide capture and storage to address climate concerns. The Chinese are helping us gain economic and environmental data and operating experience in regard to building and running a novel coal to liquids plant not seen before. This information could be very helpful to the U.S. if we were ever to build a similar plant here," Miller said. Wu Xiuzhang, deputy chief engineer for the Shenhua Group is leading the delegation from China. He said, "cooperation between the U.S. and China, and especially with West Virginia University, is very valuable and has been very successful so far."

U.S. experts said that the Shenhua Direct Coal Liquefaction plant will likely be well suited to a large-scale international-class carbon capture and storage project. Fletcher and his colleagues, WVU professor Tim Carr and Julio Friedman of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, noted that the Ordos basin in China, where the plant is under construction, has the geological resources necessary to support a sequestration project.

[ View Group Photo ]

Chinese participants included:

WVU participants included:

U.S. DOE participants included:

Advanced Resources International, Inc. participants included:

Posted January 15, 2009


"West Virginia Can Lead Transition to a Low-Carbon Future"Return to top

The State Journal, pg. 19, column by Carl Irwin

 

Morgantown, W.Va.—Carl Irwin, director of the Industries of the Future--West Virginia program of the NRCCE, calls for West Virginia to be a leader in low-carbon energy technologies in his guest column which appears in the January 9 edition of The State Journal.

To read the article online visit the following The State Journal web site link:
http://www.statejournal.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=49729.

Posted January 13, 2009