Water is a critical component in nearly every phase of fossil energy development and use – from resource extraction and processing to power generation to pollution control. As the demand for clean, fresh water increases both in the United States and globally, so will the challenges to its efficient and environmentally sound use in enabling fossil fuels to continue to produce clean, affordable, and reliable energy. Ensuring that water is used in the most efficient and environmentally sound manner possible is an important focus of the research conducted at the National Energy Technology Laboratory.
The City of Pittsburgh MOU provides an opportunity for NETL to demonstrate how fossil energy (FE) is a part of the clean energy future, and to show how technologies invented at NETL can support the safe and efficient use of energy. From high-efficiency fuel cells for electricity generation and district energy solutions, to the sensors and technologies to monitor energy infrastructure and detect natural gas leaks, NETL is developing the systems that are the future of energy.
Working in collaboration with partners at Carnegie Mellon University, NETL researchers have developed a number of novel ionic liquids and polymers that provide a more efficient and economical process for carbon dioxide capture. The suite of technologies, covering the syntheses and use of ionic liquids, has been elusively licensed to Liquid Ion Solutions, a Pittsburgh-based chemicals manufacturing start-up.
NETL has granted a license for two of its patented sorbent technologies: carbon dioxide (CO2) removal and water-gas shift (WGS) reaction enhancement to CogniTek Management Systems "CogniTek," a renewable energy systems developer. CogniTek plans to implement a regenerable magnesium sorbent, used in both NETL technologies, as part of its spinout MG Fuels' integrated biomass-to-biofuel conversion process.
Corrosion-related issues cost the U.S. economy $276 billion a year. The Energy Department's National Energy Technology Laboratory teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University to create a revolutionary, cost-effective technology to reduce that impact - work that resulted in the creation of a new CMU/NETL spin-off, LumiShield, that signed a licensing agreement with the laboratory in June 2015.
For the first time ever, precise measurements can be taken of the electric current conduction path within vacuum arc remelting (VAR) furnaces for industries that use specialty metals such as nickel, titanium, and zirconium. KW Associates, a startup company, has licensed the technology.
A coronary stent is a small, self-expanding metal mesh tube that saves thousands of lives every year by opening blocked arteries and allowing blood to flow freely again. NETL and Boston Scientific Corporation jointly developed the first austenitic stainless steel formulation produced for the coronary stent industry with high visibility with x-ray scanning.
Converting heavy hydrocarbons, such as diesel and coal-based fuels, into hydrogen-rich synthesis gas is a necessary step for fuel cells and other applications. NETL researchers invented a novel fuel-reforming catalyst that overcomes the limitations of current catalysts by efficiently reforming diesel fuel. The catalyst was licensed to startup company Pyrochem Catalyst Company.
Refractory materials are used to line the interior of slagging gasifiers, where a carbon-based feedstock such as coal, petcoke, and/or biomass, is converted at high temperatures in an oxygen-deficient environment to produce synthesis gas, which can be used in power generation. NETL developed a material that increases service life up to 50% compared to traditional liner materials. This technology is licensed by Harbison-Walker Refractories.
Boston-based enVerid Systems has adopted NETL sorbents for use in their proprietary Heat Load Reduction (HLR) module, a retrofit air-recirculation system designed to increase the energy efficiency of commercial HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems.