Geneva Steel, as well as other industries that burn fossil fuels, may benefit from research at the Advance Combustion Engineering Research Center at Brigham Young University.

The center investigates the combustion process of fuels such as coal, shale-oil, natural gas and tar sands, all of which can be found in Utah.Researchers there developed a mathematical model for describing how nitrogen oxides form and are controlled in the coal combustion process, said L. Douglas Smoot, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology and center director.

That model now is being used by a company that designs boilers and burners to control emissions of the pollutant.

"One area that we may be able to help Geneva is in being able to make direct use of coal in the steel-making process rather than coke," Smoot said.

Kobe Steel Co. of Japan is using a mathematical model produced by the center to design a direct coal injection system for use in a blast furnace, he said.

"There are quite a number of things you can do in the combustion process to effect the process beneficially and minimize pollution coming out of the process," said Michael King, center manager.

BYU's center, in its fifth year of operation, cooperates in combustion research with the University of Utah, which also operates a combustion center.

Research at BYU is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and contributions from 25 industrial organizations. The National Science Foundation, which first funded the center in 1986, gave BYU more than $2 million this summer. Geneva also provided a grant.

Smoot said BYU's center is probably the largest combustion-related academic research program in the world.