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20th Symposium on Western Fuels Summary

Symposium Proceedings Now Available
Proceedings are available in a three-ring binder or on CD-ROM for US$75.00. If you would like a copy of the proceedings, please contact Anne Fiala at or (701) 777-3119.

Symposium on Western Fuels Draws Attendees from 30 States and 8 Countries
The 20th Symposium on Western Fuels: International Conference on Lignite, Brown, and Subbituminous Coals attracted attendees from 30 states, the District of Columbia, 4 Canadian provinces, and 8 countries. The conference was held at the Marriott Denver Tech Center in Denver, Colorado.

Conference Demographics

With the current energy situation facing much of the world, and particularly the United States, attention is increasingly being turned to low-rank (western) coals. The symposium provided comprehensive educational sessions on the role of western coals in meeting future energy demands.

A keynote presentation by the Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Carl Bauer, kicked off the biannual event, sponsored by the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), DOE NETL, and the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI).

During his presentation, Bauer stated that western fuels are essential to the nation's energy future. The technology currently under development will overcome the challenges of using western coal, such as coal quality, mercury and greenhouse gas management, water availability, and transportation. Bauer also stated that maximizing our existing fleet of power plants and building new clean coal plants are the bridge to the future.

"Coal is our ace in the hole with respect to energy independence and energy security in this country," said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold, who provided opening comments during the symposium. "The EERC is world-renowned for its leadership in coal research. The EERC's various Centers of Excellence, working in partnership with the private sector and federal agencies, are developing and commercializing very clean, more efficient uses for this indigenous resource."

The Symposium also featured Richard O. Sheppard, Senior Vice President of Project Development, for Rentech, Inc., Denver, Colorado. Sheppard provided a luncheon address on bringing liquid fuels from coal to the U.S. market.

The symposium on Western Fuels program featured presenters from several nations, a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities for western coals, and ten exhibitors representing the leading organizations in the power industry.

Attendee Comments
"The conference provided valuable insights and an overview of the challenges and opportunities in the Western Fuels (coal) industry; and most importantly, it provided a sense of where we are going."
 - Ebbe Skov, Hetagon Inc.
"We received enough leads at this show to bring in enough dollars to pay for our entire trip. It usually takes 3-5 shows to accomplish that. We're happy."
 - Jane Thomas, Wyoming Analytical Labs, Inc.
"I really liked all the breaks and meals being held in the exhibit area-and the exhibits were set back enough to allow for effective mingling, conversations, etc., as well as traffic movement of folks within the room. EERC staff support was excellent!"
 - Linda Rathbun, ADA-ES

If you are interested in participating in or attending an upcoming Conference on Western Fuels and would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact Clara Chambers at You may also write or call us at:

Energy & Environmental Research Center
15 North 23rd Street, Stop 9018
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9018
Phone: (701) 777-5000
Fax: (701) 777-5181

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