Collaboratory moves to add carbon focus

BOULDER – Managing carbon through capture and sequestration has been added to the portfolio of an energy research group consisting of researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the University of Colorado-Boulder and other state universities.

The institutions announced Wednesday they have renamed the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory to the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory and expanded its mission to include a newly created Carbon Management Center.

The group was formed in 2007 and has focused its research on biofuels and biorefining and solar and wind energy, according to an announcement from its member institutions. Colorado State University and Colorado School of Mines also are members.

The new center and name more accurately represent work the group has done for the past several years, executive director David Hiller said.

“We always have and will continue to do much of our work in renewables,” he said. “But carbon management has been on our agenda from the beginning.

“What we’re really talking about is still trying to clean up our energy systems. We want to reduce the carbon impact of those fossil fuels that still provide much of our energy, even as we try to make the switch to renewables.

“A lot of the advances that we can make in protecting our planet can come from addressing the realities of fossil fuels now and for decades to come,” he said.

The new center will work to cut the emissions released from global warming gases, including carbon dioxide. Areas of focus include exploring ways to make using coal less environmentally damaging through carbon capture and sequestration or by turning underground gas into a fuel.

The collaboratory also is adding energy systems integration into its areas of study, the release said.

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