Eighteen carbon capture projects across the U.S. have been chosen to receive $84 million in federal funding to help improve the efficiency and drive down costs of carbon capture processes for new and existing coal power plants.

The Department of Energy (DOE), which announced selection of the projects today, said funded research will focus on post-combustion carbon capture processes and gasification processes, which are expected to “improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of pre-combustion carbon capture,” it said.

The largest funding award, about $15 million, will go to Boulder-based ION Engineering, which will test an advanced carbon dioxide (CO2) capture solvent under realistic slipstream conditions during continuous long-term operation to further the goal of smaller, more efficient CO2 capture processes. About $10.5 million, will go to SRI International’s project to test a CO2 sorbent capture process and conduct pilot-scale testing of the sorbent under realistic conditions to validate affordability and opportunities for CO2 use in commercial applications.

Three pre-combustion technologies were picked, including Colorado-based TDA Research’s project to pilot test a new sorbent-based capture technology for integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants.

The projects were selected as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “In the past four years we’ve more than doubled renewable energy generation from wind and solar power. However, coal and other fossil fuels still provide 80 percent of our energy, 70 percent of our electricity, and will be a major part of our energy future for decades,” he said.