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First place, Morgantown High School-Team 1
Morgantown High School-Team 1 and Suncrest Middle School-Team 1, also from Morgantown, claimed first-place victories in the 2023 West Virginia Regional Science Bowl sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL. The annual competition was held in a virtual setting Feb. 3-4. Seventeen teams representing 12 high schools and 12 teams from nine middle schools took part. The winners move on to represent West Virginia in DOE’s National Science Bowl scheduled for April 27-May 1 in Washington, D.C. “Congratulations to this year’s winners and good luck as you prepare for the National Science Bowl,” said NETL Director Brian Anderson. “At NETL, we are proud to host this regional competition because it encourages talented students to focus on science and mathematics by participating in an exciting, fun contest while developing their interests to serve as tomorrow’s researchers and engineers who will make amazing discoveries.”
An above ground oil pipeline.
NETL and the University of Pittsburgh have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore areas of cooperation in the field of novel sensors for infrastructure monitoring. Such sensors are essential to ensuring the optimum operation of existing and new energy technologies while driving economic development. “This MOU presents an exciting opportunity for both the Lab and our academic partners at Pitt to combine our strengths in pursuit of common goals,” said NETL’s David Alman, associate director, Materials Engineering & Manufacturing. “Both of our organizations will leverage our capabilities to support the acceleration of technology innovation, solutions, workforce development and industry engagement for emerging sensor technologies to ensure reliability, resilience and sustainability of energy and other infrastructure,” Alman said.
NETL’s Nicholas Siefert (far right) discusses the recently developed NEWTS database as well as the NEWTS dashboard being developed by the Lab that displays sites across the nation where energy-related wastewater stream samples and composition data have been collected. Others contributing to the development of this online tool included NETL’s Madison Wenzlick (far left) and Alexis Hammond, a Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship research associate. (PI: Burt Thomas; Dashboard Developer: Devin Justman, not shown).
Community leaders and water researchers can now access publicly available online datasets curated and processed by NETL to better understand the composition of energy-related wastewater streams. The data will help mitigate environmental risks and identify possible sources of valuable critical minerals (CMs).
an award winning open-source software tool called PARETO that can identify the best ways to manage, treat and — when possible — reuse produced water from oil and gas operations.
Two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories that teamed to provide an award winning open-source software tool that can identify the best ways to manage, treat and — when possible — reuse produced water from oil and gas operations, have published a framework manuscript providing insights about how the project can offer environmentally sustainable, and lower-cost approaches for handling oil and gas wastewater. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) reached a development milestone with the publication of a framework manuscript describing PARETO, a cutting-edge program designed to help organizations recognize opportunities for minimizing fresh and brackish water consumption in active oil and gas development areas.
Senior researcher Thomas Sarkus
NETL’s Thomas Sarkus demonstrated the importance of giving back to ensure the next generation of engineers and scientists is prepared to advance crucial energy technologies when he addressed students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. At a seminar held at the university’s College of Engineering, Computing, Technology & Mathematics, Sarkus summarized lessons learned from technology demonstration projects, as well as future directions in fossil energy and carbon management technologies, including those that have been funded by the Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Quantum Computer
NETL experts are preparing to put quantum computing, a rising, powerful and promising new force for complex and fast problem solving, to work on key energy research topics leading to an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. Quantum computing uses the principles of quantum mechanics to sift through large numbers of possibilities to extract solutions to complex problems at speeds exponentially higher than conventional computers with less energy consumption. While classical computers store information as bits with either 0s or 1s, quantum computers use superposition of both 0s and 1s, which are called quantum bits (qubits). Qubits can carry information in a quantum state that engages 0 and 1 in a multidimensional way.
A headshot of George Guthrie
George Guthrie, Ph.D., has been named principal deputy director of NETL. Guthrie joins NETL from Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he served as deputy director for the applied energy programs, leading a diverse portfolio of applied R&D in applied energy and helping to establish and lead a place-based initiative in energy transition for the intermountain west. Guthrie is a scientist with over 30 years of experience in geosciences and applied-energy applications. Guthrie holds a bachelor’s from Harvard University and a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University.
Molten metal being taken out of a press using large plyers.
NETL researchers will exhibit and take part in technical sessions at the 2022 Liquid Metal Processing and Casting Conference (LMPC), held Sept. 18-21, 2022, at the Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia. The conference convenes academic and industry experts to discuss the latest advances in processes used to cast large ingots of highly alloyed metals. NETL’s advanced alloy development research employs an integrated approach that leverages computational materials engineering, manufacturing at scale and performance assessment at condition to develop alloys solutions enabling advanced technologies. The Lab has demonstrated and deployed alloys with improved performance capabilities for energy applications, aerospace, defense and bio-medical applications. NETL has also implemented technologies to improve melting and casting practices, and some of these advancements will be featured during the conference’s technical sessions.
A developer touching the optical pH sensor.
NETL researchers have developed a cutting-edge fiber-optic sensor to monitor conditions in extreme environments thousands of feet below the Earth’s surface and obtain essential data needed to safely sequester greenhouse gas in underground reservoirs. “This breakthrough invention by NETL researchers can be used to obtain accurate pH measurements from formation fluids in harsh subsurface conditions where temperatures range up to 300 degrees Celsius (572 degrees Fahrenheit) and pressures range up to 30,000 pounds per square inch,” said Barbara Kutchko, a senior research scientist at NETL. A member of the team that received a U.S. patent on the technology, Kutchko explained that obtaining pH levels from these extreme environments is critical to ensure the safe sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the subsurface, a major component of the nation’s plan to achieve a net-zero carbon emissions economy by 2050.
A close up shot of a water droplet hitting a pool of water.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) released a Request for Information (RFI) on Aug. 25, 2022, on the characterization, treatment and cleaning, and management of effluent waters from oil and natural gas development and production, along with legacy wastewaters associated with thermal power generation.Water is critical to almost every phase of fossil energy operations — from resource extraction, transport, and processing to power generation. However, these activities generate large quantities of wastewater. DOE is seeking input to help lower the cost of developing and demonstrating technologies to effectively manage wastewater for beneficial end-uses including, but not limited to, irrigation of non-edible crops, hydrogen generation, and aquifer recharge and recovery. Reusing treated water for these purposes offers great potential to increase the availability of fresh water in arid and semi-arid regions of the Nation.