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Symposium Synopsis

Attracting more than 150 attendees from 29 states and five countries, the Western Fuels Symposium provided an in-depth forum for utilities, government, and research organizations to gain significant insight into the way fuels are utilized in the 21st century. The symposium was held October 12-14, 2004, in Billings, Montana.

With enough coal in the United States to last hundreds of years, this resource can provide clean and secure supplies of low-cost electricity. Low-rank coals (lignite and subbituminous) comprise approximately half of both current use and U.S. reserves and are the largest indigenous energy resource in the United States, including Alaska, in Russia and Central Europe, and in much of the Pacific Rim.

"Western fuels have enormous value and make a significant contribution to today's electric generation and tomorrow's energy independence possibilities," said Hank Courtright, Vice President, Power Generation & Distributed Resources, EPRI, who was a panelist on the symposium's opening panel.
Panel on Opportunities and Challenges for Low-Rank Coals

Future utilization of low-rank coal faces major challenges including mercury and fine particulate emissions, minimization of water requirements, CO2 sequestration, application of more efficient and lower-cost combustion and gasification technologies, and the new vision of a hydrogen economy.

As organizing sponsors of the symposium, the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and EPRI, is leading the world in coal research. "A key part of that commitment is to further the development of cleaner, more efficient, and more economical uses for this valuable resource, which is indigenous to our region," said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold.

The symposium included presentations from more than 50 top industry, government, and research leaders from across the United States and the world.

U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) gave opening remarks and Rita Bajura, Director of DOE NETL, gave a keynote address. U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) gave a keynote address. Burns is dedicated to the establishment of a National Energy Policy that will provide people, the environment, and the economy the resources required for the future. Symposium Speakers

"I believe the best way to attain this goal can be summarized in a single word, diversity," Senator Burns said on his official Web site. "We must work as a nation to develop new energy supplies, an ambition that I have supported time and again in legislation pushing for new technologies like hydrogen fuel cells, a greater application of natural gas, and the use of clean coal technologies," he said.

Organizing Sponsors
Energy & Environmental Research Center
U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory

152 attendees from 29 states and five countries attended the Western Fuels Symposium 19th International Conference on Lignite, Brown, and Subbituminous Coals. States represented include Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. Countries represented include Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Poland.

Coal Suppliers:03%
Equipment Vendors:06%
Development Group:08%

Proceedings Available
The symposium proceedings are available in hard copy three-ring binder or on CD-ROM for a cost of US$75.00. If you would like a copy of the proceedings, please contact Anne Fiala at afiala@undeerc.org or (701) 777-3119.

If you are interested in participating in an upcoming Western Fuels Symposium and would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact Clara Chambers at cjchambers@undeerc.org. You can also write or call us at:

PO Box 9018
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9018
Phone: (701) 777-5000
Fax: (701) 777-5181

Sponsored By:

EERC University of North Dakota 15 N 23rd St Grand Forks North Dakota USA 58202-9018
Phone (701) 777-5000 Fax (701) 777-5181