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Centers of Excellence


Today’s energy and environmental needs require the expertise of a total-systems team that can focus on technical details while retaining a broad perspective. The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) has more than 65 years of experience providing solutions for clean, efficient coal combustion.

For three decades, the EERC has investigated, developed, and demonstrated innovative, integrated approaches for water utilization and quality management. The EERC’s focus on partnerships, stakeholder-driven input, and applied research leads to development of intelligent solutions that help solve real-world problems.


  • Oil and gas produced water recycling and injection
  • Water resource assessment for oil and gas extraction
  • Water recovery from combustion flue gases and improved cooling systems for water minimization
  • Water demand/supply/conservation assessments and strategies
  • Municipal and industrial water and wastewater treatment
  • Water conservation strategies
  • Flood and drought mitigation
  • Soil and water sampling, monitoring, assessment, and remediation
  • Storm water management
  • Watershed-scale water quality and quantity modeling
  • Paleoclimatic trend research
  • Anaerobic and waste/wastewater-to-energy technologies
  • Conventional and nonconventional microbiological research




Water for Oil and Gas Production

The EERC has unparalleled expertise in understanding and improving current coal-fired power plants and other electric generating systems. We are committed to meeting customer needs by providing solutions to a wide array of operational challenges in order to improve the performance of today’s utilities as well as develop advanced combustion systems for future coal utilization, such as advanced CO2 supercritical cycles.
Since its founding in 1951, the EERC has investigated, tested, and evaluated fuels, combustion and gasification technologies, ash use and disposal, analytical methods, groundwater impacts, cofiring technologies, and advanced environmental control systems.

Water Minimization in Thermoelectric Facilities

The electrical industry is second only to agriculture as the largest domestic user of water, accounting for about 40% of all freshwater withdrawals in the nation, with 90% used in fossil- and nuclear-based electricity generation. At the same time, global water resources are becoming more difficult to secure as water consumption outstrips the pace of renewal. The question of adequate supplies of water and the impact of power plant operations are, therefore, receiving growing attention. The EERC is working with the U.S. Department of Energy and a variety of corporate partners to reduce the water used in power systems.


Charles Gorecki
Director of Subsurface R&D

Brian Kalk
Director of Energy Systems Development

Energy & Environmental Research Center

15 North 23rd Street, Stop 9018
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9018

Useful Links

Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership

Partnership for CO2 Capture (PCO2C) Technology Development