By Austin Business Journal

Luminant donated $500,000 to a carbon dioxide research program at The University of Texas.

The gift benefits the school's Luminant Carbon Management Program and brings the total Luminant has invested to more than $2.3 million over five years. Founded in January 2007, the program offers doctorate candidates an opportunity to research carbon capture and storage â¿¿ a process that removes carbon dioxide from coal-fired flue gas and stores it safely underground.

To date, seven students have graduated from the program and 17 are now participating. Carol and Henry Groppe Chemical Engineering Professor Gary Rochelle heads the program.

"These results reaffirm our enthusiasm for the program and the long-term impacts we believe it can have on our industry," said Steve Horn, Luminant vice president of engineering and technology. "As Texas' largest power generator, we are committed to funding the research of emerging technology such as this. We are hopeful that the research conducted in this program will help the energy industry move forward in an even more environmentally friendly manner."

So far, program researchers have discovered a method for removing carbon dioxide using aqueous piperazine, an organic compound that acts as a solvent. About 30 support the program through $25,000 annual donations.

Luminant is a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp. and generates more than 15,400 megawatts of power in Texas, including 2,300 megawatts fueled by nuclear power and 8,000 megawatts fueled by coal.

Copyright 2011 American City Business Journals

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