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Grand Forks, ND, Aug. 10, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- North Dakota ethanol producer Red Trail Energy, LLC (RTE), and the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), a worldwide leader in the development of solutions to energy and environmental challenges, have been awarded $490,000 by the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s Renewable Energy Program in support of a study examining the integration of carbon capture and storage (CCS) at a North Dakota ethanol facility to reduce the carbon footprint associated with ethanol production. “Using CCS to reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of North Dakota ethanol demonstrates the commitment of the industry to environmental stewardship as well as contributes to the long-term sustainability of ethanol production in the state,” said Gerald Bachmeier, RTE Chief Executive Officer. “CCS may be an economical option for reducing the CI of ethanol to qualify for market incentives by meeting low-carbon fuel programs in other states,” he said. The study will determine the technical and economic parameters of installing and operating a commercial CCS system at RTE’s ethanol manufacturing facility near Richardton, North Dakota. The facility produces approximately 63 MMgal of ethanol annually. The Broom Creek Formation, located approximately 6400 feet below the RTE facility, will be considered the main target injection point for potential geologic storage of the CO . According to previous studies conducted by the EERC, this formation is expected to be an ideal storage target. “North Dakota ethanol producers are well situated to take advantage of these low-carbon fuel incentives because there is significant production capacity and ideal geology for carbon storage,” said project manager Kerryanne Leroux, EERC Senior Chemical Engineer, Oilfield Operations Team Lead. “The study will provide local ethanol producers a detailed assessment of the commercial feasibility of utilizing CCS technology within their production operations,” she stated. More broadly, the project will provide a template for implementation within the state and promote North Dakota renewable energy production. The total project, with cost share, is valued at $980,000.

Grand Forks, North Dakota, Sept. 19, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), a worldwide leader in the development of solutions to energy and environmental challenges, announced it is working with the Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc., to improve assessment methods for estimating the storage capacity of carbon dioxide (CO ) in tight shale formations, such as the Bakken. The project is funded by NETL with cost share provided by Hitachi. “Although significant progress has been made globally to investigate the suitability of subsurface geologic sinks for CO storage, there is a lack of detailed geologic and petrophysical data needed to develop better techniques for assessing CO storage resources within unconventional formations,” said Bethany Kurz, EERC Principal Hydrogeologist, Laboratory Analysis Group Lead. EERC researchers will develop advanced analytical techniques to better understand and quantify the distribution of clay minerals, organics, pore networks, and fractures in representative shale and tight rock samples. The analytical methods will be developed using imagery collected from a field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM), which provides the high-resolution images necessary for detection and characterization of the formation. Project participant and cosponsor Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc., will work alongside the EERC to improve the data processing and image analysis within the FESEM software. “We are so pleased to be working with Hitachi on this project,” continued Kurz. “One of the key challenges in estimating CO storage capacity in organic-rich shale is that the analytical equipment and methods used to evaluate conventional reservoirs are limited when applied to shales that require analysis at such a small scale. Hitatchi’s technology and image analysis expertise will greatly improve our ability to efficiently identify and quantify key features of interest within the shales and other tight rocks.” “Working with the EERC offers an exciting opportunity to utilize and develop Hitachi electron imaging technologies for the advanced characterization of unconventional reservoirs,” said Chad Ostrander, VP/GM of Hitachi High-Technologies Canada, Inc. “The potential technology improvements offer both environmental and economic benefits on a global scale, and Hitachi is pleased to be part of this initiative.” The effects of CO exposure on shale samples will also be analyzed by scientists at NETL’s CT Scanning Lab in Morgantown, West Virginia. NETL staff will also be involved to ensure that the project supports the goals of the Carbon Storage Program, which aims to improve the ability to predict CO storage capacity in geologic formations to within ±30%. The EERC is a world leader in developing cleaner, more efficient energy and environmental technologies to protect and clean our air, water, and soil. The EERC, a high-tech, nonprofit division of the University of North Dakota, operates like a business and pursues an entrepreneurial, market-driven approach in order to successfully demonstrate and commercialize innovative technologies. Since 1987, the EERC has had over 1340 clients in 52 countries. Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc. ("HTA") is a privately-owned global affiliate company that operates within the Hitachi Group Companies. HTA sells and services semiconductor manufacturing equipment, analytical instrumentation, scientific instruments, and bio-related products as well as industrial equipment, electronic devices, and electronic and industrial materials.

News Article | August 18, 2016

Grand Forks North Dakota, Aug. 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The University of North Dakota (UND) Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), a worldwide leader in the development of solutions to energy and environmental challenges, announced increased hiring during Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16), which ended June 30, 2016, with a significant rise in contract awards. Over the 12-month period, the EERC hired a total of 11 new full-time employees, which is the result of continued steady improvement in the overall financial health of the organization. “This fiscal year has brought the EERC the best year for new contract awards in 6 years, and we’ve made some major strides forward this year in expanding our capabilities and our capacity to respond to our client’s needs,” said EERC CEO Tom Erickson. “With the number of new contract awards in recent months, we’ve had an urgent need to bring additional staff on board to carry out the work and help meet client needs. The response has been so positive that we received more than 120 applications for just one recent position.” In FY16, the EERC was awarded more than $36.5 million in new contracts, a 28.5% increase over the previous year and a 49% increase from FY14. Total contract expenditures exceeded $31 million, an increase of 7.5% from FY15. Over the course of the fiscal year, the EERC submitted 150 proposals worth $67.4 million to organizations worldwide. “This is the second year in a row that we have seen significant financial progress,” Erickson continued. “Along with our success in awards, we launched a major internal reorganization focused on efficiency gains and aligning our core business activities, which has allowed us to meet the State Board of Higher Education 3-year financial plan 1 year earlier than expected, regaining our self-sufficient funding model,” he said. With last year’s success, combined with nearly $25 million in contracts already awarded or under negotiation, FY17 is expected to bring a continued need for aggressive hiring. The EERC’s success is due, in part, to a new focused approach on developing programs and client relationships to solve the world’s most pressing energy and environmental needs, attracting significant federal, state, and industry support. For example, the EERC has focused on the incredible opportunity that exists in North Dakota to bring together the synergies of coal, oil and gas, renewable, and agricultural industries, resulting in significant opportunity for the state. In FY16, the EERC received over $8 million in state awards to address current issues and enhance future energy opportunities for North Dakota. These projects demonstrate our commitment to serve the state of North Dakota and the businesses active in the state. Erickson concluded, “The EERC now has a total client base of 1340 clients in 52 countries, which is a direct reflection of our commitment to strengthening relationships with current partners and our ability to foster new business opportunities. I would like to acknowledge the tremendous effort by our staff this year for their work on our existing core programs, building exciting new initiatives, and strengthening our presence in the state’s energy sector.”

Sato D.,Tokyo University of Science | Kitamura H.,Tokyo University of Science | Sato D.,EERC | Sato T.,Tokyo University of Science | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Structural and Construction Engineering | Year: 2014

Structural control devices are widely implemented in order to reduce the seismic response of buildings. These devices are typically categorized as hysteretic dampers and viscous dampers. Generally, a structure employs only one of these two dampers; however, in recent years, a case has been made for using both dampers simultaneously in order to improve seismic performance. For the quantitative evaluation of seismic performance, a prediction method based on energy balance has been proposed in the past studies. However, the existing method cannot be adapted to response control structures composed of two types of dampers. This study proposes a solution to this problem by establishing the theory relating to vertical distribution. Furthermore, a wide range of ground motion characteristics are investigated by using f-value for an energy evaluation of ground motion. The proposed prediction method is validated by comparing its results with those of time-history analyses. In addition, the effectiveness and applicability of using both dampers are verified using the proposed method.

Okazaki T.,Hokkaido University | Matsumiya T.,Kinki University | Nagae T.,EERC | Fukuyama K.,EERC | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Structural and Construction Engineering | Year: 2013

Two full-scale steel moment-resisting frames were constructed and tested at E-Defense to examine the performance of high-rise buildings subjected to long-period ground motions. Frame 1 adopted typical design and detailing from the 1970's employing both field- welded and shop-welded details for the moment frame connections. Frame 2 was identical to Frame 1 except that all connections were field-welded and upgraded using three strengthening methods. A number of connections in Frame 1 fractured during a simulated long- period motion. No damage was observed in Frame 2 until the same motion was repeated multiple times. The performance of field- welded connections in existing high-rise buildings and the effectiveness of upgrade methods are discussed.

Nakagawa M.,Tokyo University of Science | Sato D.,Tokyo University of Science | Nagae T.,EERC | Kitamura H.,Tokyo University of Science | Sano T.,Obayashi Corporation
AIJ Journal of Technology and Design | Year: 2013

According to the past researches, the structural damage of high-rise steel building when subjected to long-period ground motions is characterized by the concentration of deformation to beam-column connections. In addition, it is known the field weld connection details tend to have poor deformation capacity. So far, there is no comprehensive data base about beam-column connection details of existing high-rise buildings. This study provides a data base of high-rise steel buildings, focusing on the beam-column connection details.

Kato T.,Tokyo University of Science | Sato T.,Tokyo University of Science | Sato D.,EERC | Kitamura H.,Tokyo University of Science | And 3 more authors.
AIJ Journal of Technology and Design | Year: 2014

In assessing to some structural problems of existing high-rise buildings, it is necessary to comprehend states of that precisely. This study focuses on the components and characteristics of that, and constructs the seismic analysis model on basis of typical specifications, which is investigated by literature survey. The analysis result against long-period ground motion shows two suggestions. One is that the seismic performance of existing buildings may not be weak comparing to current buildings, and the other is that the cumulative damage of beam ends concentrates lower stories.

Shimada Y.,Tokyo University of Science | Sato D.,Tokyo University of Science | Nagae T.,EERC | Kitamura H.,Tokyo University of Science | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Structural and Construction Engineering | Year: 2010

In long-period ground motions, high-rise buildings are subjected to large cumulative deformations as well as large story drifts. Retrofitting with dampers may be one of the most effective solutions to reduce such seismic responses. This study examines the influences of steel dampers partially installed into the lower part of high-rise buildings. A series of dynamic response analyses are conducted for typical steel high-rise buildings. A long-period ground motion is adopted whose energy spectrum has a peak amplitude at three seconds, and twenty-one story buildings and thirty-five story buildings are substituted by frame models. The results show that the total energy absorption of the dampers installed into forty-percent stories can be equivalent to that of the dampers installed into the whole stories. On the other hand, the maximum drift of the story located right on the lower part having dampers would become 1.4 times larger than those of the lower part.

Wocken C.,EERC | Pansegrau P.,EERC | Aulich T.,EERC
NPRA Annual Meeting Technical Papers | Year: 2010

A discussion covers the challenges of diesel fuel production; renewable oil feedstock chemistry; EERC catalytic hydrodeoxygenation-isomerization technology for conversion of renewable oils to a jet fuel-grade isoparaffin-rich synthetic paraffinic kerosene; availability of renewable feedstock; and refinery integration scenarios. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the NPRA Annual Meeting (Phoenix, AZ 3/21-23/2010).

Sato D.,Tokyo University of Science | Shimada Y.,Kajima Corporation | Ouchi H.,Tokyo University of Science | Nagae T.,EERC | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Structural and Construction Engineering | Year: 2010

A series of shaking table tests on a high-rise building are conducted in order to acquire realistic data on the damage. The adopted test system consists of a lower part represented by four-story steel frame structure and an upper part simplified by substitute layers made of concrete mass and rubber bearings. In the tests using long period ground motions, the specimen is subjected to large cumulative inelastic deformations as well as large inter-story drifts. Such seismic loads are represented by total input energy to the specimen. The total input energy from each test is plotted in the corresponding energy spectrum of the input wave, indicating reasonable correlations. The beam ends dissipate ninety percent of the total input energy of the steel frame. The results characterized by input energy and its distribution suggest the adopted measuring methods reasonable. The seismic performance assessment in terms of input energy can be developed not just for a seismic design but also for damage monitoring techniques.

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