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You are here:  State-by-State Project Profiles > Utah

DOE Fossil Energy R&D Projects in Utah


Number of Projects

Total Value*
(Million $)

DOE Share
(Million $)

Job Benefits**

Coal & Power Projects





Oil & Gas Projects





*Includes DOE and private sector cost-sharing

**An average of 28.5 direct and indirect jobs per $1 million in R&D funding is used based on the Department of Commerce's Regional Input-Output Modeling System II formula.

University of Utah Developing Advanced Technologies for Coal and Power Systems
  • The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, is the site of three projects that are developing advanced technologies for coal and power systems. The projects have a total value of $1.37 million with DOE providing $1.08 million.

    • Fundamentals of Mercury Oxidation in Flue Gas - This $539,000 project (DOE share: $397,000) will develop knowledge and models needed by utility operators to meet expected EPA mercury regulations. To accomplish this, the project will focus on understanding mercury oxidation reaction chemistry including the effects of chlorine, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and ash particle reactions. Understanding the effects of these compounds on mercury oxidation is particularly important in coal-fired systems, as wet flue gas desulfurization can remove oxidized gaseous mercury, and a particulate control system can remove particulate mercury. Either device, however, does not capture elemental mercury, effectively. If promoted, oxidation would allow a low-cost removal option using existing pollution control equipment without expensive additives being required.

    • Materials for Power Plant Sensors - Researchers at the University of Utah will develop novel microscale gas sensing devices suitable for application in exhaust gas streams of power plants. High temperatures and pressures in the exhaust stream make it a very harsh environment, requiring devices that can tolerate these conditions while still accurately sensing very small levels of gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides. DOE is contributing $486,000 to this $608,000 project.

    • Corrosion-Resistant Coatings for Power Plants - The objective of this $227,000 project (DOE share: $200,000) is to develop a commerically viable coating technology based on nanocrystalline intermetallic materials for advanced coal-fired power generation systems for which corrosion resistance and creep strength at high temperatures are critical.

Utah Researchers Finding Ways to Keep U.S. Oil Fields Producing
  • The Utah Geological Survey, Salt Lake City, UT, is conducting field demonstrations and developing play portfolios to develop technology and to extract additional oil from existing reservoirs.

    • Major Oil Plays in Utah and Vicinity/PUMP 2 - This project will develop the play portfolio concept for the major oil producing provinces in Utah and adjacent areas of Colorado and New Mexico. DOE is cost-sharing $175,000 of the total project cost of $351,000.

    • Exploration Techniques and Studies - The Utah Geological Survey, Salt Lake City, UT, will (1) develop and demonstrate techniques and exploration methods never tried on the Mississippian Leadville Limestone in the Paradox Basin of Utah and Colorado, (2) provide the facies, hydrodynamic pressure regime, and oil show quality maps that can be used to target areas for exploration, (3) increase deliverability from new and old Leadville fields through detailed reservoir characterization, (4) reduce exploration costs and risk especially in environmentally sensitive areas, and (5) add new oil discoveries and reserves in this under explored region. DOE is contributing $267,800 to this $535,600 project. 

  • The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, is investigating the use of improved simulation to improve oil production.

    • Simulator for Oil Well Characterization - The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, is developing a parallel, general purpose (black oil, compositional and thermal) finite-element simulator, capable of modeling highly complex geometries and complicated oil wells. Technology transfer will be aggressive and will consist of reports, technical presentations, workshops and product distribution. DOE is contributing $800,000 to this $1.0 million project.

    • Utah Center for Heavy Oil Research - By Congressional mandate, the Utah Center for Heavy Oil Research is being established at the University of Utah to provide research support to federal and state constituents for addressing the wide-ranging issues surrounding the creation of an industry for unconventional oil, including heavy oil, tar sands (oil sands), and oil shale, production in the United States.  The research sponsored by the Center focuses on projects to clarify issues and seek solutions to challenges for managing and utilizing these natural resources.  DOE is providing $1.44 million in assistance (through October 2008) for this $1.80 million project.

Utah Company Advances Drilling Technology
  • Smaller-Footprint Drilling System - Terra Tek, Salt Lake City, UT, will receive $770,000 towards the $1.02 million total project cost to produce a smaller footprint drilling system for deep and hard rock environment, and to determine the feasibility of ultra-high speed diamond drilling PRIME breakout. 

 Page owner:  Fossil Energy Office of Communications
Page updated on: May 06, 2007 

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