The Advanced Research (AR) program within NETL’s Office of Coal and Power Systems fosters the development of innovative, cost-effective technologies for improving the efficiency and environmental performance of advanced coal and power systems. In addition, AR bridges the gap between fundamental research into technology alternatives and applied research aimed at scale-up, deployment, and commercialization of the most promising technologies identified.
High Performance Materials research cuts across many scientific and technological disciplines to address materials requirements for all fossil energy systems, including innovative advanced power systems. The goal is to bridge the gap between basic and applied research, often by pursuing “breakthrough” concepts based on mechanistic understanding from any discipline to develop materials with unique thermal, chemical, and mechanical capabilities.
Coal Utilization Sciences is a crosscutting research and development effort whose goal is to expand the basic understanding of the underlying chemical and physical processes involved in utilizing coal. A fundamental knowledge of these processes will also help understand and overcome the barriers to coal utilization.
Sensors & Controls Innovations, research centers on novel sensors and advanced process control, which are key enabling technologies for advanced near zero emission power systems. Advanced Research is leading the effort to develop sensing and control technologies and methods to achieve seamless, integrated, automated, optimized, and intelligent power systems.
Computational Energy Sciences, research is able to simulate the complex processes occurring inside a coal gasifier, or across an entire chemical or power plant. This incredible tool is made possible by today’s supercomputers and advanced simulation software, helping scientists and engineers to better understand the fundamental steps in a complex process so they can optimize the design of the equipment needed to run it.
Cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) are partnerships with the private sector and academia to develop and commercialize new energy and environmental technologies. AR actively seeks opportunities to work together on mutually beneficial projects in an effort to solve national energy and environmental problems.
AR Educational Initiatives involve selected academic partners from all parts of the country in sponsored fundamental research that provides avenues for technology transfer and forums for exchange of fresh ideas. These efforts are specifically addressing the technical challenges of meeting the nation’s energy demands while developing environmentally sound solutions. They also are an important means of accessing underutilized talent and resources, to nurture upcoming generations of scientists and engineers who will solve the latest challenges related to fossil fuel use.