Cooperative Research & Development
The Advanced Research Program supports DOE program goals and furthers NETL’s Technology Transfer mission through Cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs), by which NETL actively seeks opportunities to partner with the private sector and academia to develop and commercialize new energy and environmental technologies. Advanced Research CRADAs exist with the following organizations:
The University of Wyoming’s Western Research Institute (WRI)
For more than two decades, the WRI through two CRADAs with NETL has supported DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy in its mission of developing fossil energy and related environmental technologies. The multi-year project, titled “Thermal Precombustion Mercury Removal Process for Low-Rank Coal-Fired Power Plants,” developed a technology with strong commercial potential for removing mercury from sub-bituminous Powder River Basin coals. The process was subsequently selected for further development and demonstration under DOE’s Mercury Control Phase III
A Base Program CRADA provides full Federal funding that enables the WRI to perform research to provide fundamental new insights for developing future fossil energy technologies. Base Program projects develop ideas to a level promising enough to attract commercial co-sponsors for further development and commercialization under the JSR Program. In many instances, a potential JSR co-sponsor has been identified, but additional laboratory or bench-scale data are necessary to assess the utility of the technology prior to co-sponsor investment.
A JSR Program CRADA provides up to 50 percent co-funding through NETL that enables WRI to utilize its expertise — in particular, that derived from the Base Program — to attract commercial co-sponsors and continue developing future technologies in the U.S. energy sector. Participants in each project are committed to develop, commercialize, and deploy technologies of value to the Nation’s energy industry. Involvement of an industrial partner in the program focuses on fostering commercialization, and defines the pertinent research to be undertaken to ensure relevancy of the research, and a commitment to commercialize the technology in the most expeditious way.
The University of North Dakota’s Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC)
Within a framework of two CRADAs, the EERC since 1998 has performed research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects aimed at advancing the deployment of technologies that will improve energy efficiency and environmental performance of fossil energy systems in areas that would otherwise not be adequately addressed by the private sector.
A Base Program CRADA provides full Federal funding that enables the EERC to focus on new concepts for highly efficient, non-polluting energy systems. The Base agreement supports fundamental studies on scientific and engineering foundations for new and improved energy technologies, and solutions to a wide range of environmental issues. The emphasis has been on the EERC's historic work in low-rank coals, chiefly subbituminous and lignite.
A Jointly Sponsored Research (JSR) Program CRADA provides up to 35 percent co-funding through NETL for follow-on work conducted at the EERC on a larger scale that holds commercial promise. This research is tailored to critical environmental issues, including water supply and quality, air toxics (e.g., mercury), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and the goal of net-zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
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