The China-related activities of the Capture group are expanding. Collaborations with Chinese colleagues are especially important in light of the high level of interest in China in coproduction technologies that are the focus of much of the Capture group’s recent work. The coal chemical process industry in China has extensive experience with modern coal gasification technologies (more than all the rest of the world combined), and there is much interest in extending this industrial experience from niche chemicals markets to the much larger fuels and electricity markets that require very similar energy conversion technologies.
Zheng Li. A highlight of the Capture group’s long-term collaboration with Zheng Li at Tsinghua University was the publication in the fall of 2012 by Cambridge University Press of the Global Energy Assessment: Toward a Sustainable Future – an 1865 page (5 kg!), 25-chapter IPCC-style study involving several hundred authors and reviewers globally. The GEA describes technologies and strategies for addressing the major societal challenges related to energy. It is anticipated that the GEA will be regarded as “essential reading” for public- and private-sector decision makers worldwide who are interested in advancing energy toward sustainable development goals.
Eric Larson and Prof. Zheng Li were the Co-Convening Lead Authors for the Fossil Energy Chapter of this report. Williams was a Lead Author, and Guangjian Liu was one of the contributing authors. The Fossil Energy chapter highlights the importance of co-processing coal and biomass with CCS and natural gas and biomass with CCS for meeting sustainability goals. In addition Larson was a Lead Author of the Renewable Energy Chapter for which he made contributions relating to biomass.
Guangjian Liu. The collaboration with Guangjian Liu, established when he was a post-doc with the Capture group during 2008-2010, has been sustained since he returned to Beijing to a faculty position at the North China Electric Power University (NCEPU).
During 2012 the continuing collaboration with Prof. Liu included i) research on olefin/electricity coproduction systems (described above), ii) Williams’ visiting NCEPU in October 2012 as part of the continuation of the Capture group’s participation in the Coal Conversion and Utilization Research and Education Project led by NCEPU (see 2011 CMI annual report), and iii) Liu’s contributions to a new undergraduate engineering course at Princeton, “The Energy-Water Nexus,” taught by Larson.
Dr. Qiang Li. Dr. Xiangbo Guo, a scientist at SINOPEC’s Research Institute for Petroleum Processing (RIPP) in Beijing, spent calendar year 2010 as a visiting research fellow with the Capture group, where he contributed his understanding of refining processes to the Capture group’s coal/biomassto-liquids work.
In 2012, Dr. Guo introduced the Capture group to his colleague Dr. Qiang Li, who had recently been awarded the same prestigious award by SINOPEC that allows him to spend a sabbatical year at a U.S. university. The Group invited Dr. Li to Princeton, and he is making contributions to the ongoing Capture group project on the production of low-carbon jet fuel from coal and biomass.
Advising Shenhua. Williams was invited by the Shenhua Corporation (the world’s largest coal company) to a brainstorming session in Chicago in July 2012 as well as to a followup meeting in Beijing in October 2012 to discuss two initiatives that Shenhua Chairman Xiwu Zhang is pursuing in his new capacity as Chairman of the World Coal Association – creation for the WCA of: (a) a Strategic Research Institute (SRI) for coal that will deal with strategies for the future of coal worldwide, and (b) a new Cornerstone magazine that aims to communicate hopeful strategies to world leaders in the public and private sectors who are interested in coal issues.
In these meetings Williams stressed the strategic importance for coal of strategies such as those articulated in the Global Energy Assessment that would enable coal to make important contributions to sustainable development goals for global society. Subsequently, Williams recommended a strong candidate for editor of Cornerstone, who was hired for that position.