Crosscutting Technology Research
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The Crosscutting Research program serves as a bridge between basic research and the development of innovative technologies critical to the successful development of ultra-clean, reliable, high efficiency fossil energy power systems. The program fosters R&D in five principal technology areas: Sensors and Controls, Simulation-Based Engineering, High-Performance Materials, Water Management Research and Development, and Innovative Energy Concepts. The program leverages the latest technology trends such as data analytics and advanced manufacturing to accelerate progress toward addressing the challenges facing today's fossil power plants and realize the next generation of fossil energy technology platforms. The program is managed by NETL on behalf of DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and implemented through collaboration with other governmental agencies and national laboratories, utilities, large and small businesses, and universities.

The Crosscutting Research program develops innovative concepts that address application-specific challenges by: (1) supporting the research necessary to graduate new technologies to the development stage; and (2) initiating research that is likely to lead to entirely new technology areas. It should be noted that often the processes and materials that advance one technology platform may well have application in another with little or no modification. A major advantage of the Crosscutting Research program is its ability to see and foster applications of a given technology across a number of programs, and leverage resources efficiently to accomplish common goals.

Major Demonstrations

Sensors & Controls

Focus includes developing harsh-environment sensors, predictive control modeling, a low cost sensor network, and distributed intelligent control architecture. Collectively, these efforts will yield new classes of sensors and measurement capabilities to enable low cost robust monitoring of advanced power plants and employ novel control strategies.


Major Demonstrations

Simulation-Based Engineering

This technology area comprises the expertise and capabilities to computationally represent the range of energy science from reactive and multiphase flows up to a full-scale virtual and interactive power plant. Science-based models of the physical phenomena occurring in fossil fuel conversion processes and multi-scale, multi-physics simulation are two types of the tools and capabilities under development within this technology area.

High Performance Materials

High Performance Materials

Focuses on computational materials modeling, structural and functional performance materials and a predictive materials modeling and computational framework. HPM&M research cuts across many scientific and technological disciplines to address materials requirements for all fossil energy systems, including innovative advanced power systems.


Water management R&D

Water Management R&D

Water is a vital resource that is inextricably linked to the quality of our lives and the demand continues to struggle with the interconnectivity of water use and consumption. The role water plays in the generation of power is well documented and National efforts are underway to minimize the demand on water. In concert with the Water-Energy Nexus initiative, the challenge for this initiative centers on reducing water use and consumption for thermoelectric power generation.

Innovative Energy Concepts

Innovative Energy Concepts

Innovative Energy Concepts is concerned with the development of innovative cost-effective technologies that promote efficiency, environmental performance, availability of advanced energy systems, and the development of computational tools that shorten development timelines of advanced energy systems. This area provides for fundamental and applied research in innovative concepts with a 10-25 year horizon that offers the potential for technical breakthroughs and step change improvements in power generation and the removal of any environmental impacts from fossil energy-based power system.

University Training ans Research

University Training and Research

Supports science and engineering education at major universities (University Coal Research) and in minority colleges (Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Other Minority Institutions) to maintain and upgrade the coal research capabilities and facilities of U.S. colleges and universities; and support the education of students in the area of coal science through grants to U.S. colleges and universities that emphasize longer-term research. The university research emphasis is on student participation in supporting all key fossil-energy technology efforts.