Research Triangle Energy Consortium (RTEC) Breakfast Energy Forum

The RTEC Breakfast Energy Forum Series facilitates the Triangle’s players in the field of energy getting to know each other and to get acquainted with what’s happening locally in this dynamic field.  It is held on every third Thursday of the month and the topics are distributed two weeks ahead.  Attendance is by invitation, but current invitees may nominate others.  After a brief introduction of the topic by the Director, a moderated discussion ensues.  Peer to peer learning is the primary mechanism.

Next month’s topic:

Date:               Thursday, February 15, 2018

Time:              7.30 – 8.30 AM

Location:        Advanced Technology Building, 3021 E Cornwallis Road

Cost:               None.  RTEC will cover expenses

Topic:  IS TRUMP’S “CLEAN COAL” AN OXYMORON?  You may be wrong, but you may be right, from “You may be right” by Billy Joel, 1980, written by Billy Joel

What the President meant by the term in his SOTU speech is anybody’s guess.  But we can look at it in many ways, with two broad features: airborne hazardous species and CO2.  And we can consider two principal industrial sources: electricity production and coal to liquids.  A significant example of the latter is coal to methanol, with the methanol in particular targeting gasoline and diesel displacement.  The Chinese are doing this in a big way, and India is expected to follow.  The airborne species are only as a result of direct combustion.  But all methods lead to CO2 production.  Avoidance of direct combustion will make coal cleaner.  What of the CO2?  It certainly can be put away in the ground in some places.  The highest cost component of sequestration has always been capture, not storage.  It could also be used for tertiary recovery of oil.  Co-locate sinks and sources?  Then there is the more research stage CO2 conversion to useful stuff.  Even electric vehicles are implicated: cleanliness of the electricity.  Finally, we could even discuss the consequences of Presidential utterances on this.

Breakfast is by Invitation Only.  Please send additional requests to

Guest Lectures

Our Executive Director Dr. Vikram Rao,  speaks at various events in the Triangle and the nation.