psi (psig):

Pounds per square inch (psig indicates gauge pressure, that is, pressure above atmospheric pressure).


Thermal decomposition of a chemical compound or mixture of chemical compounds.


Variety of coal; the higher the rank of coal, the greater its carbon content and heating value.


Research is the discovery of fundamental new knowledge. Development is the application of new knowledge to develop a potential new service or product.


Research, development, and demonstration.


Repowering is achieved by investments made in a plant to substantially increase its generating capability, to change generating fuels, or to install a more efficient generating technology at the plant site.


Selective catalytic reduction; postcombustion NOx control with the use of catalysts.

seismic technology:

Seismic technologies are geophysical techniques used to image oil reservoirs, the associated rock and fluids from the earth’s surface and/or from nearby boreholes. The application of seismic technology in oil exploration and development has increased ultimate recovery and reduced risk and costs by identifying barriers and pathways of fluids movement through the reservoir, thus allowing for more effective targeting of well placement and management of enhanced oil recovery projects.


Synthetic Fuels Corporation.

shale oil:

A type of rock containing organic matter that produces large amounts of oil when heated to high temperatures.


Oxides of sulfur.


Sulfur dioxide.

Steel IOF:

The Industries of the Future partnership between DOE and the U.S. steel industry is oriented toward improving the productivity, energy efficiency, and environmental performance of the steel industry by aligning the R&D resources of industry and government.

Stirling automotive engines:

Engines with very high efficiency, operating on nearly any type of fuel, requiring little maintenance, smooth, and quiet. This engine is well suited to automobiles, but the auto industry has so much plant and equipment devoted to the manufacture, service, and sale of gasoline and diesel engines that incremental improvements in competing technologies do not justify the enormous cost and logistic difficulty of introducing an entirely new type of engine.

Stirling engine:

An external combustion engine that converts heat into usable mechanical energy (shaftwork) by the heating (expanding) and cooling (contracting) of a captive gas such as helium or hydrogen.

Subbituminous coal:

Coal with a heating value of 8,300 to 11,500 Btu/lb, a carbon content of 35 to 45 percent, and a moisture content of 20 to 30 percent.


Synthetic natural gas made from coal.

synthesis gas:

Mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen and other liquid and gaseous products.

Synthetic Fuels Corporation:

Organization established by the Energy Security Act of 1980 to facilitate the development of domestic nonconventional energy resources.

tax credits:

Credits established by the federal and state government to assist the development of the alternative energy industry.


A machine that has propeller-like blades that can be moved by flowing gas (such as steam or combustion gases) to spin a rotor in a generator to produce electricity.

21st Century Truck Program:

Multiagency and industry partnership designed to cut fuel use and emissions by buses and trucks, while enhancing their safety, affordability and performance. It was created as a response to U.S. climate change policy.

waste management:

Waste products from the combustion of fossil fuels for power generation include by-product materials from scrubbers and fly ash. The Waste Management Utilization Program is oriented toward providing improved methods of waste characterization and handling, advances in resource recovery and reutilization techniques, and sound management and/or disposal of combustion and other fossil wastes in compliance with environmental regulations.


A hole drilled or bored into the earth, usually cased with metal pipe, for the production of gas or oil. Also, a hole for the injection under pressure of water or gas into a subsurface rock formation.

Western Gas Sands:

The Western Gas Sands Program has enabled industry to commercially develop the geologically complex, high-cost tight gas resource in the Rocky Mountains. Today, annual tight gas production from Rocky Mountain gas basins is over 700 Bcf, up from 160 Bcf in 1978 and 220 Bcf in 1987, when the R&D program is judged to have begun having a significant impact.

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