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September 26, 2007 Funding Awarded to Dr. Zhu for the Research Proposal Entitled, ''Process Technologies for Clean Coal and Renewable Energy'' to the XinAo Institute of Technology, XinAo Group Co. Ltd.
With global warming accelerating, reducing worldwide emission of greenhouse gases has to be accomplished within a certain time frame. Though fossil fuels including coal, crude oil and natural gas are not going to last much long, it will last long enough to destroy the environment of the planet. Even with all kinds of renewable energy sources identified, fossil fuels are still not going to go away soon because the price tag for renewable energy is still too high for replacement. Therefore, it is important to develop clean technologies for fossil fuel usage and develop low-cost process technologies to produce affordable renewable energy. Both are manufacturing process related problems. Most of the technologies have proved feasible through demonstrations but the efficiency and cost of the energy conversion and pollutant-removal processes remain roadblocks. The objective of this research is to study the processes and systems used for producing clean coal energy and renewable energy in order to reduce costs and increase system efficiency, particularly to optimize the processes needed for reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases from coal power plant stacks using biomass and producing biofuel, and to optimize the manufacturing process to reduce production cost of large scale thin-film solar panels for power generation and for building integrated photovoltaics applications.
Coal burning power plants produce over half of the electricity in the world and are major sources of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides and other pollutants. Solar energy is carbon neutral after solar panels are installed. Biomass based biofuel, which absorbs carbon dioxide, can clean the environment and increase overall energy efficiency.