The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Emissions Control Program develops technological improvements and solutions for control of non-CO2 emissions (liquids, gases, and solids) associated with carbon capture, plus management, disposition, and remediation of coal combustion residuals (CCRs) and CCR storage sites. The next-generation concepts and advanced technologies that the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and partners are working on are intended to address the urgent need to safely manage and disposition aging inactive/legacy CCR impoundments, control emissions associated with those impoundments, and control non-CO2 emissions that may occur with more widespread implementation of carbon capture and decarbonization. These technological advancements will help foster environmental justice as they underpin remediation of legacy harms of fossil fuel use, reduction of the volume of CCRs for disposal, and address any pollution issues that might emerge in the large-scale implementation of carbon capture.
Although prior research and development (R&D) on coal combustion byproducts was carried out in the 1990s and through 2008 via DOE’s Innovations for Existing Plants Program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule published in 2015 provided new impetus for attention to this issue. Also, the DOE Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management’s (FECM) current mandates, including point source carbon reductions and justice principles, are strongly driving the work under this program:
The Emissions Control Program pursues technology advancements through onsite work at NETL, as well as by external funding opportunities, resulting in a suite of projects performed by industry and academia and overseen by NETL.