Regional research yields international connections

MPR photo Dan Gunderson

It's been a fruitful year for the Grand Forks-based Energy and Environmental Research Center. EERC has inked contracts with Israel, India and most recently China to export its research on energy related technology.

The deal with China could be a big one. EERC developed a new system to improve

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filtering the emissions from coal fired power plants. I reported on the project when then it was tested at the Big Stone power plant in 2006.

It's called a hybrid particulate collector and it grabs pollution from smokestacks using electrostatic charges and massive filter bags. EERC claims it's the state of the art in

particulate pollution control and apparently Fujian Longking Co., Ltd., an international corporation based in China agrees. The company will have exclusive rights to commercially deploy the technology.

China has been building hundreds of coal fired power plants, so the market for the technology could be huge just in China. Of course if the technology is successfully commercialized, the manufacturing jobs will likely be in China too.

The deals signed earlier this year with Israel and India involve developing hydrogen

technology and infrastructure. EERC is doing a lot of research on ways to use hydrogen as a viable transportation fuel source.

EERC says it now has relationships with more than 50 countries.