As part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy’s Hydrogen with Carbon Management (HCM) program, NETL’s research focuses on carbon-neutral hydrogen (i.e., coupled to carbon capture and storage (CCS)) as a fuel and developments technologies to use carbon-neutral hydrogen from any source.
The HCM program’s efforts are an integral part of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Hydrogen Shot, with a goal of reducing clean hydrogen costs by 80% to $1 per 1 kilogram (kg) within 1 decade (1-1-1), while expanding employment of the U.S. energy workforce. Seeking a cost-competitive decarbonized alternative to traditional fossil fuels, the HCM program has a research and development portfolio consisting of a new generation of carbon neutral or net-negative greenhouse gas emissions technologies. HCM comprises of six subprogram activities: (1) Gasification Systems, (2) Advanced Turbines, (3) Reversible Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (R-SOFCs), (4) Advanced Energy Materials, (5) Sensors, Controls, and Other Novel Concepts, and (6) Simulation-Based Engineering.
The DOE Gasification Systems program is developing innovative modular designs for converting diverse types of carbon feedstocks into clean synthesis gas to enable the low-cost production of clean hydrogen, electricity, transportation fuels, chemicals, and other useful products to suit market needs. Advancements in this area will help enable syngas-based technologies to play a role in economy-wide decarbonization in multiple energy sectors while remaining competitive in both domestic and international markets, and spur on the use of abundant domestic carbon feedstock resources, in turn contributing towards increased energy security and promoting justice through reviving depressed markets in traditional coal-producing regions of the United States.
The NETL Advanced Turbines Program manages a research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) portfolio designed to remove environmental concerns over the future use of fossil fuels by developing revolutionary, near-zero-emission advanced turbines technologies. The Advanced Turbines activity supports four key technologies that will advance clean, low-cost power production while providing options for CO2 mitigation. These key technologies include: (1) Advanced Combustion Turbines, (2) Pressure Gain Combustion (PGC), (3) Modular Turbine-Based Hybrid Heat Engines, and (4) Supporting the University Turbine Systems Research (UTSR) program.
The NETL Reversible Solid Oxide Fuel Cell program maintains a portfolio of RD&D projects that address the technical issues facing the commercialization of solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and Reversible Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (R-SOFC) technologies y and pilot-scale testing projects intended to validate the solutions to those issues. To successfully complete the maturation of these technologies from its present state to the point of commercial readiness, the Program’s efforts are channeled through three key technologies, each of which has its respective research focus. These key technologies include: (1) Cell Development, (2) Core Technology, and (3) Systems Development.
The Advanced Energy Materials program drives to characterize, produce, and certify advanced alloys and high-performance materials that are key to realizing dispatchable, reliable, high-efficiency, decarbonized power generation from hydrogen. In addition, the program aims to encourage change and stimulate innovation in the high-performance materials value chain to spur US competitiveness and enable meeting 2050 Zero-Emission Goals. Materials of interest include those that enable components and equipment to perform in the high-temperature, high-pressure, corrosive environments of advanced energy systems with specific emphasis on durability, availability, and cost. The key focus areas of this program include (1) Development of a robust domestic materials supply chain, (2) Lifetime prediction and rapid repair critical to manage a flexible fleet of generators that enable high penetration of renewables into the grid, and (3) Low-cost, high performance alloy development to enable meeting 2050 Zero-Emission Goals.
The Crosscutting Research Sensors, Controls, and Novel Concepts program is conducting research and development for technologies that will provide pivotal insights into optimizing performance, reliability, and availability of integrated energy and carbon management systems.
NETL’s Simulation-Based Engineering (SBE) program supports the development and application of new, innovative, physics- and chemistry-based models, and computational tools at multiple scales (i.e., atomistic, device, process, grid, and market) in order to accelerate development and deployment of clean, advanced fossil fuel technologies.