Founded in January 2007, the program offers doctoral candidates an opportunity to conduct hands-on research in carbon capture and storage, a process that removes carbon dioxide from coal-fired flue gas and stores it safely underground. To date, 14 students have graduated from the program and 17 are currently participating.

“We are extremely proud of the work being done within the Luminant Carbon Management Program and are excited about the long-term benefits this research can have on our industry,” said Steve Horn, vice president of technology, Luminant. “We’ve seen the program grow since our involvement in 2007, and we’re exceedingly proud of the research developed in these past few years.”

The program is led by Dr. Gary Rochelle, the Carol and Henry Groppe Professor of chemical engineering. Among the research advancements enabled by Luminant’s funding, Rochelle and his team have developed a more stable and less energy-intensive method for removing CO2 from coal-fired flue gas, called amine scrubbing. The method uses aqueous piperazine, an organic compound that acts as a solvent, to absorb CO2 from the gas.

Luminant’s commitment to the program has also helped prompt more than 30 other companies to sign on as industrial associates with commitments of $25,000 per year.

“With Luminant support, we have developed the best academic research program in the world on CO2 capture by amine scrubbing. Our program focuses on the problem with support from the most companies, creates solutions with the largest number of students and produces the most significant research results,” said Rochelle.