Why Industry Joined LSU’s FUEL Team

February 05, 2024

Leading Energy Innovation in Louisiana

For decades, energy, chemical and petrochemical companies have turned to LSU for collaborative technology and talent development to secure the solutions and the people they need to be competitive. As leaders of the ongoing energy transition to lower-carbon technologies and low-carbon fuels, industry has made clear commitments to innovation and talent development. Industry has also continued to invest in LSU to advance the energy priority of LSU’s Scholarship First Agenda. In June 2022, Shell invested $27.5 million to LSU to establish the LSU Institute for Energy Innovation and advance reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible energy for all. In June 2023, ExxonMobil strengthened its decades-long relationship with LSU to collaboratively pursue energy security and sustainability initiatives, and invest in local community workforce programs and athletics.

Amidst the momentum created by these transformative investments in 2022 and 2023, LSU reached out to several of its longtime energy partners on a new and bold plan—to go after the largest National Science Foundation grant in history to accelerate energy innovation and create new jobs in energy and chemical manufacturing in Louisiana. Everyone said yes. The resulting partnership, now selected by the NSF to lead energy innovation for the nation, is called Future Use of Energy in Louisiana, or FUEL.

Shell’s leadership as a collaborative partner with Louisiana’s flagship university continues through the LSU Institute for Energy Innovation and the FUEL partnership, as well as on technology projects like direct air capture, including a recently awarded $5 million project by the U.S. Department of Energy. ExxonMobil—the largest manufacturing employer in Louisiana—and FUEL partners work to solve emerging technology challenges, including in hydrogen and carbon capture and storage. As a FUEL partner, the global energy technology company Baker Hughes is currently investing in research to develop next-generation direct air capture and closed-loop geothermal technology, convert carbon dioxide and hydrogen into sustainable fuels, deploy zero-emission power plants and more.

Engineers at Baker Hughes

Louisiana’s energy, chemical and petrochemical industry is leading the energy transition in Louisiana. Photo courtesy of Baker Hughes.

“LSU’s leadership and the FUEL collaboration showcase our state’s readiness to catalyze research, prepare a highly skilled workforce and position Louisiana as a global leader in the energy transition.”

ExxonMobil Vice President of Low Carbon Solutions Technology Prasanna Joshi