Environmental Protection

Luminant Support Spurs UT Carbon Storage Program

The power generation company's contribution pushes its financial commitment to $2.3 million in five years.

Luminant has given $500,000 to The University of Texas at Austin’s Luminant Carbon Management Program, which offers doctoral candidates an opportunity to conduct hands-on research in the area of carbon capture and storage.

Since 2007, seven students have graduated from the program. Seventeen are currently participating.

“These results reaffirm our enthusiasm for the program and the long-term impacts we believe it can have on our industry,” said Steve Horn, Luminant vice president of engineering and technology. “As Texas’ largest power generator, we are committed to funding the research of emerging technology such as this. We are hopeful that the research conducted in this program will help the energy industry move forward in an even more environmentally friendly manner.”

The program is headed by Gary Rochelle, Ph.D., the Carol and Henry Groppe Professor of chemical engineering.

“The Luminant program has been exceedingly successful,” Rochelle said. “Through their research, our students have identified a new carbon capture process and are now working to find a way to make the process less energy intensive, which will have additional positive environmental impacts.”

Rochelle and his team have developed a more stable method for removing carbon dioxide from coal-fired flue gas using aqueous piperazine, an organic compound that acts as a solvent, to absorb carbon dioxide from the gas.

Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp., is a competitive power generation business, including mining, wholesale marketing and trading, and development operations. Luminant has more than 15,400 megawatts of generation in Texas, including 2,300 MW fueled by nuclear power and 8,000 MW fueled by coal. The company is also the largest purchaser of wind-generated electricity in Texas and fifth largest in the United States.

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