Fossil fuels will remain the mainstay of energy production well into the 21st century, in which coal reserve may last for about 120 years. However, increased concentrations of CO2 in the environment are inevitable unless energy systems reduce the carbon emissions to the atmosphere. A feasibility study project on sustainable clean coal technologies has been undertaken at the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER) since 2005, to comply with the domestic technology R&D policy. In 2008, the government in Taiwan inaugurated the guidelines for sustainable energy policy, which aims to develop “low-carbon economy,” to fulfill the requirements for economic development, environmental protection and social justice. To implement the policy, National Science Council (NSC) approved the National Science & Technology Program - Energy (NSTP-E) in 2009, which is devoted to R&D on energy policy, energy technologies, energy saving and carbon abatement, personnel training and expertise development, etc.
To campaign for sustainable development, R&D activities in the fields of clean coal, carbon abatement and storage technologies reside in the main streams of NSTP-E. The aims of the R&D efforts in this presentation are to develop carbon capture-ready processes for the need of carbon abatement, and gradually construct the prospective engineering techniques and advanced processes for clean coal systems. At present, the program consists of three work groups: (WG 1) system- and device-level design and optimization of gasification-based energy systems, including plant performance evaluation; (WG 2) warm/hot gas separation and clean-up processes, as well as commissioning of integrated test facilities for clean carbon system; and (WG 3) carbon capture and utilization technologies, which focus on pre-combustion capture with solid sorbents and conversion of carbon sources. The current status of R&D achievements by each work group will be illustrated to provide further insights.
Since 2001, INER has initiated the long-term strategic planning for non-nuclear energy technology research programs, including preliminarily renewable and hydrogen energies. Moreover, an overview of the related research activities at INER will be presented subsequently, which might provide possibility of building research collaborations between LBNL and INER in the future.