Key Lab Initiative

Center for Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals



NETL’S Center for Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals (CSFC) is a technology incubation center that develops technical solutions for the U.S. chemicals industry to retool its products and operations to reach net-zero emissions.

The center examines technologies that remain too risky or far-term for the private sector to develop alone.

The CSFC leverages NETL’s expertise in computational sciences, including advanced approaches in process optimization and reactor design, to model low-carbon manufacturing technologies and simulate how chemical production can be scaled up faster and at less cost. The center will also tap NETL’s expanding research applications and lifecycle analysis capabilities.

Carbon management is critical to the U.S. chemicals industry, one of the most difficult industries to reduce carbon emissions. The CSFC technologies will move products to market faster, at lower costs, and with less environmental impact while creating a more agile chemicals supply chain.

Why Partner With NETL?

This NETL-led technology incubation center seeks technology development partners to assist the downstream chemicals sector in decarbonization, carbon management, and sustainability efforts.

Facilities and Equipment

NETL’s CSFC is comprised of several facilities and advanced equipment that is best-in-class for research and development for carbon management, energy conversion, hydrogen production, process optimization, process intensification, and chemical recycling. We leverage:

  • $500M invested infrastructure  
  • 1.1M gross square footage
  • 500 research staff

NETL draws on its decades of success with chemical conversion, carbon management, and carbon intensity analysis to accelerate sustainability strategies (both identifying and deploying) within the chemical sector. Our comprehensive process innovation capabilities include a team of scientists and researchers to collaborate and offer technical literacy; an incubation facility to validate and scale up new processes; and proven technical breakthroughs in materials, membranes, catalysis, and gas separation.

Partner with Us

Our Unique Expertise

Use cross-cutting decision making to quantify emissions and evaluate benefits of investment options via life cycle analysis (LCA).

Decarbonization targets are being established within government and corporations for increased global sustainability. LCA serves as the primary tool to consistently identify sources of emissions and areas of opportunity up and down the supply chain. CSFC’s LCA evaluates potential process improvements, alternative methods of production, substitute feedstocks, and recycling opportunities while focusing on environmental impacts and tradeoffs/co-benefits. Read more.

Identify and develop lower carbon footprint feedstocks spanning the entire hyrdogen value chain for a more agile supply chain, including advanced hydrocarbons, renewables (including biomass), electrification, and other low-carbon feedstocks supporting new investments.

NETL’s CSFC invested in extensive R&D facilities that span the hydrogen value chain. While coal and natural gas are the primary sources of hydrogen today, NETL R&D is improving the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and carbon intensity of clean hydrogen production. NETL has advanced CO2 capture technologies that work with hydrogen production to create “blue” hydrogen (hydrogen typically produced using the steam methane reforming process paired with carbon capture technologies), which supports many applications difficult to decarbonize. The process produces hydrogen that can be used as a clean fuel to power turbines and fuel cells or stored for future use. Read more.

Increase process efficiency using enhanced materials, conversions and separations or new processes, scaling up processes and products to get to market faster, at lower cost, and with markedly lower carbon footprint.

NETL has decades of expertise in converting chemicals to higher value products and improving CO2 conversion. Enhancing chemical conversion process efficiency improves the economics of downstream chemical products by avoiding production steps, thus enhancing raw material efficiency and reducing capital. NETL has patent-pending developments and success in energy conversion and separations, process intensification, and optimization. 

Manage the engineering, integration, and policy-to-economy transition.

NETL is the DOE’s premier laboratory for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technology development. NETL uses its decades of experience converting carbon-based fuels into clean synthesis gas and its development of innovative technologies to accelerate discoveries at costs significantly lower than if industries were to conduct research independently. Learn more.

Manage the product lifecycle to collect, move, dissasemble and recreate.

Recycled polymers can compete with low priced feedstock gas and mitigate plastic waste. NETL engages in polymer recycling and upcycling with its patent pending syngas-to-olefins catalyst, ReACT facility, and slag management expertise with coal gasifiers. The contributions to a circular economy exist in both chemical research and recylcing, and in LCA.



Charles Damianides, Ph.D.
Center for Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals Executive Director