The Center for Carbon Management in Energy, a research center at the University of Houston, is collaborating with the Southern States Energy Board to promote the rapid deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies.
The work will be funded by a five-year, $3.5 million grant to the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy. The board is a nonprofit interstate compact made up of 16 southern states, including Texas, and two territories, focused on energy and environmental issues.
Ramanan Krishnamoorti, chief energy officer at UH, said Houston is the logical place for the work due to the presence of industry and a skilled workforce. "Houston has long been known as the energy capital of the world, but we have the pieces in place to become the sustainable energy capital," he said. "This collaboration will capitalize on the expertise and infrastructure that is already here to move carbon management to full commercialization."
The Center for Carbon Management in Energy was launched as a University research center in 2019 to help industry reduce its carbon footprint and to find new business opportunities for carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases. SSEB's Carbon Management Program was created in 2003.
Kenneth J. Nemeth, SSEB's secretary and executive director, said the new initiative builds upon SSEB's previous work in carbon management, including the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership program and the regional initiatives for carbon capture, utilization and storage.
"A dedicated support team co-located in Houston is fundamental for commercialization acceleration," he said. "SSEB and CCME will work with industry to address a full range of early technology deployment risks through this public-private partnership."
That will include workforce development, focused on public, industry and university education.
Charles McConnell, executive director for Carbon Management and Energy Sustainability at UH, said commercializing existing technologies is crucial if the industry is to reduce its carbon footprint.
"Pilots and demonstrations in several of the key partnerships have led to early-stage commercial deployments, but this is a recognition that greater emphasis and alignment with industry on commercialization challenges and opportunities is required to accelerate the broad deployment of CCUS in the marketplace," he said.