William Robertson Coe Library at University of Wyoming. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The University of Wyoming announced that a utility company would help the School of Energy Resources research how to burn coal with little to no carbon emissions.

The department announced its partnership last Thursday. The company, Black Hills Energy, will help the school test a new technology called flameless, pressurized oxy-fuel. The technology burns fuel such as coal or gas without emitting the same amount of pollutants or carbon dioxide into the environment.

“It’s highly efficient and doesn’t need downstream carbon capture,” said Holly Krutka, executive director of the UW School of Energy Resources, to lawmakers during a hearing on Thursday. “It’s flexible in a carbon-constrained world.”

The South Dakota-based company provides electricity to customers in eight states including Wyoming. The company will provide scientists and resources to aid in the research.

The project is primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The project’s first two phases have been approved by the department, but the third phase still needs the federal department’s authorization. Krutka told lawmakers she was optimistic that the university’s application will be fully approved with the help of Black Hills Energy.

The project team will now include Black Hills Energy, Southwest Research Institute, UW’s School of Energy Resources, General Electric, Sargent and Lundy, and the Electric Power Research Institute.