Utah's Centers of Excellence Program has approved third-year funding of $130,000 for the Center for Advanced Coal Technology at the University of Utah.

Larry L. Anderson, professor and chairman of the department of fuels engineering, heads the research center, which opened in 1987 to promote and develop Utah's low sulfur, highly volatile coals. The state's remaining recoverable coal reserves total an estimated 7.6 billion tons.The center's activities are primarily directed at studying the unique properties of Utah coals, with the parallel objective of expanding current markets and creating new markets for coals, coal-derived chemicals and liquid products.

Research at the U. facility centers around the structure and reactivity of coal and tar sands; separation, upgrading and stability of synfuels; innovative procedures for the characterization and analysis of coal; and the development of environmentally safe fossil fuel technologies.

Funding approved by the Centers of Excellence Program must be matched by federal and industrial support at the rate of $2 for each $1 in state money.