Category Archives: Reports

The Carbon Products Industry Vision for the Future

The Carbon Products Industry Vision for the Future

September 1998

The carbon products industry is an extremely diverse industry supplying critical materials and components to some of the United States’ most essential industries such as aluminum, steel, chemicals, aerospace, electronics, recreation, and environmental protection.

A large portion of the carbon products industry is built on recovering and processing byproducts from other primary operations. This is good from a waste utilization viewpoint, but it means that availability and quality of essential feedstocks for much of the carbon industry are subject to priorities in other business sectors.

Final Report of the Governor’s Task Force on Co-Firing

Final Report of the Governor’s Task Force on Co-Firing

by Carl Irwin

Preface:

The Governor’s Taskforce on Co-firing was initiated in October 1998 through the vision and efforts of Corky DeMarco, Director of the Governor’s Office of Operations. The charge to the Taskforce was to assess the potential of co-firing strategies for enhancing the continued use of coal in West Virginia power generation plants.

The taskforce believes that, in many ways, co-firing is a win-win strategy. Co- firing with biomass, natural gas, tire derived fuel or other materials can improve emissions from existing coal burning power plants; it is a low-cost approach to use of renewable fuels; and, it can solve industrial waste disposal problems while recovering energy from materials that could otherwise end up in landfills.

The work of the taskforce is very timely due to the emergence of critical issues affecting coal-based power generation: increasingly stringent emissions limits on nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, particulates and greenhouse gases; deregulation and restructuring of the power generation industry; and renewable energy portfolio standards being proposed in federal and state restructuring legislation.

Through this taskforce, the coal industry, the oil and natural gas industry, the power generation industry, and the forestry industry have come together to seek synergistic, workable strategies for co-firing that are right for West Virginia’s energy future. This report, which has been coordinated through the West Virginia University National Research Center for Coal and Energy, is a synthesis of the ideas, information, and recommendations the taskforce has gathered over the past year.

The time, ideas and written contributions of the taskforce members are sincerely appreciated, as is the expert information provided by the taskforce resource people. Ms. Laura Del Col of the NRCCE has provided very competent assistance with editing and producing this report.

Toward a Cleaner America

Toward a Cleaner America

By Erica K. Sladky

Abstract:

Our world has become more polluted and more dependent on oil throughout the past century. A quarter of the world’s global warming emissions come from one country: the United States. Many scientists and politicians have endeavored to decrease the amount of pollutants by switching to cleaner, alternative energy. This report finds that there are many options studied but not yet available and should become commercialized and compete against each other.

The WVU Industrial Energy Efficiency China Project – Exporting IOF-WV!

The WVU Industrial Energy Efficiency China Project – Exporting IOF-WV!

By Carl Irwin

Bhaskaran Gopalakrishnan (Gopala), Professor of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering and Director of the WVU Industrial Assessment Center (IAC), Ken Means, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director of WVU Projects with Industry, Subodh Chaudhari, Gopala’s PhD student, and I all left the Pittsburgh airport together on Fri morning Aug 3. Gopala had picked me up at my home around 3:00 that morning – I was madly trying to get all my stuff into a couple of suitcases and a backpack – and didn’t even go to bed that night. From Pittsburgh, we got to Newark, NJ around 9:00 Fri morning and waited a few hours to get our Continental flight to Beijing….

West Virginia Forum on Technology and Innovation: Transforming West Virginia’s Traditional Industries

West Virginia Forum on Technology and Innovation: Transforming West Virginia’s Traditional Industries

By Carl Irwin

Hosted at West Virginia University National Research Center for Coal & Energy, April 23, 2001.

Preface:

This report documents the second meeting of the West Virginia Forum on Technology and Innovation, held at West Virginia University on April 23, 2001. The purpose of the meeting was to promote dialog and cooperation between the traditional manufacturing industries of West Virginia and computer-based information technology (IT) industries that can potentially provide more efficient, competitive operations through digital solutions. The West Virginia Forum on Technology and Innovation is an activity of the Discover the Real West Virginia Foundation (DRWVF), an organization whose purpose is to promote investment and economic growth in the state.

The meeting was a cooperative effort between the Office of Senator Jay Rockefeller, the DRWVF, the WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE), the WVU President’s Office, and the Industries of the Future – West Virginia program. A core planning committee consisting of Bonnie Morris of the WVU College of Business and Economics, Jan Berkow of Applied Industrial Solutions, LLC, and Carl Irwin of NRCCE met weekly for more than a year developing agendas, contact lists, speakers, and exhibitors for the Forum. Terri Giles of Senator Rockefeller’s Office originally proposed the theme for this second meeting of the Forum: “Transforming Traditional Industries through IT.”

The planning committee also spent many hours formulating the IT benchmarking survey of West Virginia manufacturers that was conducted prior to the Forum. The results and implications of the survey, summarized in this report, are a call to action for West Virginia’s manufacturing companies as well as for the IT service provider community.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting System (WVPBS) covered the April 23rd Forum meeting and telecast a one-hour documentary, produced by Suzanne Higgins, on May 11, 2001 as part of the WVPBS Legacy Series. Beth Voorhees hosted a one-hour interview/call-in radio show on WVPBS with Senator Rockefeller, Jan Berkow, and Carl Irwin as guests.

The Forum confirmed that West Virginia can build on all its strengths — industrial, intellectual, and entrepreneurial — to merge its traditional industries with “new economy” technologies to reduce costs and stay globally competitive. To accomplish this, the state must work very hard to remove barriers and create incentives for modernization and corporate investment in new technologies and value-added businesses.

The goal for this report is that it contributes to West Virginia leading the way among states in transforming traditional industries and creating strongholds of advanced manufacturing. The Forum’s inspiring speakers and panelists described new ways of doing business and of running traditional companies, ones that frequently require change and willingness to take chances. The most important work is yet to be done.