Jack Fuller
Dr. Jack Fuller

B&E Professor Gives Energy Industry Overview

May 27, 2010

A management professor at WVU’s College of Business and Economics recently gave two keynote addresses at a meeting of 300 energy leaders in Jacksonville, Fla.

Dr. Jack Fuller addressed the gathering about his recent research based on a survey of energy-using and energy-producing industries across the nation that use co-generation boiler plants to produce power. Examples of companies that participated in this effort were Alcoa, Anheuser-Busch, General Motors, and Archer Daniels Midland.

These plants use steam to create electricity for primarily internal purposes and also use by-product steam for running internal operations at their plants.  Additionally, they may use unconventional fuels – from used tires to palm fronds – with a new type of energy production technology, which was a focus of the research effort.

“Many industrial operations make their own electricity,” Fuller said, “and these operations are very interested in knowing about innovations and trends in the field.”

Fuller’s survey shows that the top three out of four major concerns of these operations are related to disposal of the ash byproduct of burning the fuels.  Government regulations pertaining to ash disposal was of particular concern. This is related to new studies showing that conventional disposal methods may be harmful to the environment.

Fuller, who is also an energy consultant, said his survey, conducted in early 2010, is a snapshot of industrial power generation and will give attendees a better idea of trends and current issues the group confronts.  Professor Fuller’s academic background is in operations management, which he now puts to use in assisting energy-producing and energy-using companies operate in a more efficient and environmentally responsible manner.