Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Program Topics and Coordinators


    Program Topics

    1. Gasification Technologies

    Topic Coordinators: Dr. Johan van Dyk, Dr. Massood Ramezan, Dr. Alberto Pettinau, Dr. Rolf Maurer, Dr. Andreas Richter

    • Industrial Applications, Economics and Environmental Issues

    • Underground Coal Gasification (UCG)

    • Syngas to Power (Gas Turbines, Fuel Cells) 

    • Gasification Science and Modeling

    • Novel Gasification Technologies and Concepts

    • Co-Gasification of Coal and other Carbon-Based Fuels

    • Systems Analysis

    • Low Rank Coal Utilization

    • Polygeneration 

      2. Clean Coal Demonstration and Commercial Projects

      Topic Coordinators: Mr. Daniel Connell, Mr. Thomas Sarkus

      • Existing and planned clean coal major demonstrations (process and technology demonstrations, i.e. IGCC, SCPC, USC, SNG, CTL, Oxy-combustion, etc.)

      • Existing and planned clean coal commercial projects (fully integrated systems) and trends

      • Industrial scale and utility scale carbon capture and carbon storage projects (i.e. >250,000 tons/year of CO₂)

      • Lessons learned from technology demonstrations and first commercial deployments

      • Intermediate scale demonstrations (i.e., 25-50 MWe)

      • Commercially available technology reviews/updates (Vendor reports on advanced technology commercial offerings)

      • Financing, business and risk management strategies for major demonstration and commercial projects, including first-of-a-kind projects with or without carbon capture and storage

      • Regulatory impacts on major demonstration and commercial projects

      • Insurance strategies for CO₂ capture and geologic Storage

        3. Combustion Technologies

        Topic Coordinator(s): Dr. Evan Granite

        • Industrial Applications and Environmental Issues

        • Flue Gas Clean Up and Ash Chemistry

        • Combustion Technology Advancements  (Pulverized Coal, Fluidized Beds, Co-Firing, etc.)

        • Novel Combustion and Cycle Technologies (Oxyfuel, Chemical looping, CO₂ Cycles, etc.)

        • Modeling and Economic Evaluation

        • Basic Studies, Materials, and Instrumentation

          4. Clean Coal and Gas to Fuels

          Topic Coordinators: Dr. Massood Ramezan, Mr. John Duddy, Prof. Atsushi Ishihara, Dr. Andreas Richter

          • Coal-To-Liquids Fuels, CTL (Direct Liquefaction, Fischer-Tropsch, MTG, DME, etc.)

          • Gas-To-Liquid, GTL

          • Synthesis Gas Cleanup 

          • Substitute Natural Gas (SNG)

          • Hydrogen Production

          • Syngas to Chemicals/Materials

            5. Carbon Management

            Topic Coordinators: Prof. Steve Carpenter, Dr. Massood Ramezan, Dr. Alberto Pettinau, Prof. Bingyun Li, Prof. Zhiyuan Yang

            • Pre-Combustion Capture

            • Post-Combustion Capture

            • CO₂ Sequestration (Monitoring, Mitigation and Verification; Storage: Depleted Oil/Gas Reservoirs, Aquifers, Basalt, Coal Bed Methane, etc.)

            • Transportation Infrastructure Issues

            • Legal and Regulatory Issues

            • Carbon Dioxide to Chemicals/Fuels

              6. Coal Science

              Topic Coordinators: Dr. Evan Granite, Dr. Leslie Ruppert, Prof. Atsushi Ishihara, Mr. Brian Shaffer, Dr. Allan Kolker

              • Chemistry

              • Geoscience/Coal Resources

              • Trace Elements/Emission

              • Coal Processing

              • Coal Preparation

              • Coal Utilization

              • Coal Utilization By-Products (Ash, Fertilizers, etc.)

                7. Coal Mining, Preparation, and Handling

                Topic Coordinators: Mr. Richard Winschel, Mr. Daniel Connell

                • Coal Seam and Coal Mine Methane/Gas Management in Coal Mines

                • Geological Issues Related to Coal Mining/Properties of Coal-Measure Rocks/Ground Behavior

                • Coal Mining and Reclamation

                • Mine Safety

                  8. Coal Bed Methane and Shale Gas

                  Topic Coordinators: Dr. Leslie Ruppert, Mr. Richard Winschel

                  • Geology

                  • Exploration

                  • Resources and Reserves

                  • Drilling and Production

                  • Completion Methods

                  • Gas Quality and Processing

                  • Environmental Impacts

                  • Abating Methane Emissions from Gas and Coal Production

                    9. Power Plants

                    Topic Coordinator(s): Prof. Ting Wang

                    • Thermodynamic and economic analysis

                    • Boiler technology and design

                    • Steam turbine technology (reheat, regeneration, steam seals, blade aerodynamics)

                    • Gas Turbines technology (syngas or hydrogen-rich combustion, compressor aerodynamics, turbine blade heat transfer, materials)

                    • Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG)

                    • Condenser design and operation

                    • Cooling tower design and improvements

                    • Water treatments

                    • Post combustion gas cleaning

                    • IGCC integration and components (ASU,  gasifiers, syngas cooling, gas clean up, water gas shift, and desulfurization)

                    • Oxy-fuel combustion plants

                    • Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC)

                    • Combined Heating and Power (CHP)

                    • Energy storage (CAES, ice)

                    • Power Plants Operation and Maintenance experiences

                    • Any other or innovative new cycles

                      10. Sustainability and Environment

                      Topic Coordinators: Prof. Steve Carpenter, Dr. Massood Ramezan

                      • Energy Production and Water Use – Conservation and Recycle

                      • Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) or Energy Production Systems

                      • Energy Production on the Environment

                      • Energy Sustainability – Efficiency and Conversation to Reduce GHG

                      • GHG, Inventory Protocol, Legal and Regulatory Considerations, Credits

                        11. Rare Earth Elements (REE) in Fossil Fuel Derived Solids and Liquids

                        Topic Coordinators: Prof. Steve Carpenter, Dr. Evan Granite, Prof. Richard Bajura, Dr. Allan Kolker

                        • Rare earth elements in coal and petroleum fuels

                        • Rare earth element chemistry in power systems

                        • Mining waste

                        • Fly ash and slag

                        • Separation methods

                        • Rare earth geochemistry

                        • Measurement and characterization: challenges and solutions

                        • Modeling

                        • Mining and recovery methods in industry

                        • Status of supply and trade

                        • Emerging issues

                          12. Coal Ash Management

                          Topic Coordinators: Dr. Evan Granite, Prof. Tarunjit Butalia, Dr. Allan Kolker

                          • Ash pond reclamation

                          • Extension of landfills over ash ponds

                          • Long-term recovery of materials from ash ponds

                          • Secondary uses of closed ash ponds

                          • Coal Combustion Residuals (CCRs) landfill management

                          • Beneficial uses of CCRs

                          • Rare earth element extraction from CCRs

                          • Role of CCRs for CO2 storage

                            13. Value-Added Products from Coal

                            Topic Coordinators: Dr. Evan Granite, Mr. John Duddy, Mr. Richard Winschel, Mr. Daniel Connell

                            • Nano-carbons

                            • Fibers

                            • Composites

                            • 3D Printing

                            • Additive Manufacturing

                            • Electrodes

                            • Capacitors

                            • Construction Materials

                            • Concretes

                            • Thermal Insulators

                            • Activated Carbons

                            • Tars, Cokes and Pitches

                            • Chemicals

                            14. Energy Storage

                            Topic Coordinators: Dr. Massood Ramezan, Prof. Richard Bajura

                            • Chemical (Hydrogen, Ammonia, Methanol)  

                            • Thermal (Thermochemical, Sensible, Latent)

                            • Mechanical (Compressed Air, Pumped Hydro)

                            • Electrochemical (Batteries:  Flow, Li-ion, Lead Acid)

                            • Other (Geothermal)