To date, previous grants have been used in projects to improve methods for more efficient reclamation, discover cleaner ways to burn lignite and identify new market opportunities. The previous projects conducted under this program fall under three main categories.


Marketing feasibility studies involve supporting environmental studies and identifying new markets for lignite and its byproducts.

Current funding available for marketing feasibility studies: $500,000


Examples of Previous Studies

  • Market identification for activated carbon produced from lignite
  • Market identification for catechol byproducts recovered from the Great Plains Synfuels Plant
  • More marketing feasibility studies

Small research projects are focused on environmental issues, combustion, reclamation, byproducts and beneficiation.

Current funding available for small research projects: $1.8 million
(Every $1 funded by ND is matched by $4.8 in private industry investment.)


Examples of Previous Projects

  • The evaluation of combustion in cyclone utility boilers providing a more cost-effective option for meeting emission standards
  • The evaluation of markets and uses for fly ash resulting in double of its previous use and triple its market value
  • The evaluation of reclamation success on grasslands resulting in reclamation cost savings
  • More small research projects

Demonstration projects administered under the program all benefit clean coal initiatives. Previously, the Dakota Gasification Company received $12.3 million to assist the Great Plains Synfuels Plant in converting a portion of the natural gas stream to produce anhydrous ammonia—a fertilizer used by farmers. These efforts enable Great Plains to increase byproduct diversification and increase gross byproducts receipts.