Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert signed a memorandum of understanding today with the Jinshan District Mayor, Zhao Fuxi, in order to show mutual support for technology exchanges between Utah and Jinshan, China.
Partnerships between Utah and local governments in China are an excellent venue for the application of technology created at Utah's three major universities; the University of Utah, Utah State University, and Brigham Young University. By partnering with municipal level governments in China, Utah companies can not only create innovative solutions tailored to the problems local governments face, but also create jobs for the residents of Utah.
One existing project in Jinshan is the Jinshan Clean Energy Project, a partnership between Jinshan District and the Utah Clean Tech Alliance (UCTA). UCTA's is made up of four Utah-based companies: Andigen, AD Technologies, Cosmas, and Ceramatec.
The purpose of the Jinshan Clean Energy Project is to design a Modular Fischer-Tropsch (FT) Reactor. The reactor will convert bio-waste, such as manure, into biogas which can be used as a source of energy, or be further refined into wax or diesel fuel. The first phase of this project was completed just prior to Governor Herbert's visit to Jinshan, and involved the construction of a biogas conversion system located at the Jinshan Dairy.
Later phases of the project will include the construction of a fully functional FT reactor at the sewage treatment plant in Provo, Utah. UCTA has applied for $1 million in funding from the Jinshan government in order to assist in the completion this next phase of the project.
Once the FT reactor is fully functional, it will then be manufactured on a wide scale and installed in multiple locations throughout China.
The Jinshan Clean Energy project is another example of how partnerships between Utah and China can create innovative projects which lead to job creation in the state of Utah. The purpose of Governor Herbert's trade mission is to strengthen existing Utah/China partnerships--evidenced by the Utah/Jinshan MOU--and open door for future projects, partnerships, and economic development opportunities for Utah companies in China.