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FOA
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL has announced up to $4 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002190, Research for Innovative Emission Reduction Technologies Related to Coal Combustion Residuals. Coal combustion residuals (CCRs) consist primarily of fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum and other FGD-solid by-products, as well as fluidized bed combustor ash from pulverized coal-fired power plants and other combustion-based coal power plants. CCRs constitute one the largest classes of industrial by-products generated in the United States. R&D under this FOA aims to economically increase the beneficial use and advance the management of CCRs, thereby reducing the volume of CCRs needed to be disposed of in impoundments while protecting the environment and the health and safety of the public. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the projects selected through this FOA. The FOA focuses on two areas of interest (AOIs):
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL has selected three additional projects to receive approximately $3 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects. These projects are supported through the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001992, Maximizing the Coal Value Chain.   The projects will develop innovative uses of domestic coal for upgraded coal-based feedstocks used to produce power and to make steel and high-value products—ultimately creating new market opportunities for coal. These projects will support FE’s Advanced Energy Systems Program. DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the projects, which are described below.
Power Plant
Fossil energy is vital to the nation’s security, with coal serving as the fuel that produces nearly 30% of U.S. electricity. To ensure the continued success of this critical energy resource, NETL is funding advanced research to modernize the grid and improve the efficiency of the existing coal-fired power plant fleet, which strengthens the reliability of all our electricity generation. In coal and other fossil fuel-based power plants, high-pressure, high-temperature steam drives turbines that spin electricity-producing generators. After exiting the turbine, steam moves through the condenser where it’s converted back into liquid so it can be re-heated and re-pressurized to be used again. Condenser performance is largely dependent on how efficiently cold tubes cool the steam and condense it back to liquid. When steam contacts the metal tubes, a film or condensation can form. This layer acts as an insulator between the cold metal and steam, limiting heat transfer and lowering efficiency.
Coal Resources
In an effort that could ultimately help create new jobs and markets for coal, NETL researchers have developed a low-cost, coal-derived cement additive that could lead to the construction of stronger and more durable roads and buildings. Drawing upon their experience in converting coal to advanced materials and products, the NETL team has taken a new approach to synthesizing graphene, a unique form of carbon only one atom thick. When added to cement, graphene imparts significant molecular-level improvements to the material’s mechanical strength, electrical conductivity and overall durability. “By using abundant coal feedstocks, we are synthesizing graphene that is 50­–100 times less expensive than the usual method of using graphite,” said Yuan Gao, Ph.D., who works on NETL’s functional materials team. “Graphene created from graphite is too expensive to be feasible for commercial-scale cement applications, but our lower-cost, coal-derived graphene represents a critical first step for commercialization.”
Coal Mats
As America’s energy landscape evolves, NETL is advancing emerging technologies that offer new economic opportunities for the nation’s most abundant domestic resource — coal. Converting coal to high-value carbon nanomaterials has the potential to reduce manufacturing costs and energy consumption while improving the performance of electronics, batteries, solar cells, cements, plastics and other in-demand consumer products. Carbon nanomaterials are tiny, carbon-based materials with unique properties that enhance the mechanical strength, optical properties, corrosion resistance, and thermal and electrical conductivity of materials. Traditionally derived from petroleum or graphite feedstocks, their use in commercial products has been limited largely due to high manufacturing costs and finite supplies. As an affordable alternative, NETL and its partners are developing simple, scalable methods to produce carbon nanomaterials from coal and coal byproducts.
Coal Mats
For generations, coal powered industries that created new jobs and helped supply light, heat and hot water to homes, hospitals, schools and businesses. But soon, people may associate the nation’s most abundant natural resource with a host of other uses from building materials and energy storage capabilities, to carbon composites and 3D printing materials. NETL experts are advancing those and other ideas through the Laboratory’s Coal Beneficiation Program and a dynamic new collaborative effort with universities and sister national laboratories known as the Consortium on Coal-based Carbon Materials Manufacturing (COAL MAT). Beneficiation is a term used to describe the treatment of raw materials like coal to improve physical or chemical properties so it can be used for new applications. Coal Beneficiation at NETL focuses on both enhancing the value of coal as a feedstock and developing new high-value products derived from coal. NETL’s John Rockey explained that research includes testing of laboratory- and pilot-scale technologies to produce upgraded coal feedstocks and additional revenue-producing products.
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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy and NETL have announced 32 winners for $56.5 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects for advanced coal technologies and research under six separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). The projects further this Administration’s commitment to strengthening clean coal technologies and cover a range of topics, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage; rare earth element recovery; coal to products; crosscutting coal R&D; steam turbine efficiency; and advanced materials. “The Department of Energy is committed to advancing technologies that will allow us to meet our energy needs in an environmentally responsible way,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “We will continue our commitment to investing in research, development, and demonstration initiatives to drive these innovative clean coal technologies forward.”       “We are excited about the transformative potential of these projects. Advancing this coal R&D is paving the way for future technology innovation and integration,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg.
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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL have announced today investments for the Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, and Transformative) initiative, which aims to develop coal plants of the future that will provide secure, stable, reliable power with near zero emissions.  “Coal is an abundant, affordable, resilient, and reliable energy source that, through innovation, will continue to be an important part of the U.S. portfolio for decades to come,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “The Department’s Coal FIRST initiative is helping the Nation secure its domestic power supply by developing plants that are not only more reliable, resilient, efficient, and near zero emissions, but that can adapt to the changing electrical grid.” Under the Coal FIRST initiative, DOE is supporting research and development (R&D) projects that will help develop plants that:
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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL have announced up to $87.3 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects for advanced coal technologies and research. DOE Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg announced this R&D funding at the Annual Project Review Meeting for Crosscutting, Rare Earth Elements, Gasification, and Transformative Power Generation at the National Energy Technology Laboratory. “Coal-fueled power plants are a significant source of electrical power generation in the United States. The goal with these projects is to ensure that the United States can have a fleet of coal-fired power plants that provides stable power generation with operational flexibility, high efficiency, low emissions, and lower costs for consumers,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg. “By investing in this R&D, we will enable the United States to continue maximizing its domestic energy resources while protecting our supply of reliable and affordable electricity.” In 2017, coal was the second-largest energy source for electricity generation in the United States. 
FOA
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL have announced up to $9.5 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001992, Maximizing the Coal Value Chain. This FOA seeks to develop innovative uses of domestic coal for upgraded coal-based feedstocks used to produce power, make steel, and make high-value products—ultimately creating new market opportunities for coal. These projects will support FE’s Advanced Energy System Program, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage them. This FOA focuses on three areas of interest (AOI): 1. Improved Domestic U.S. Coal Feedstocks for Power Production and Steel-Making – Projects under this AOI will test technologies that can produce an upgraded coal fuel from run-of-mine domestic coal to increase the value of coal as a power plant fuel or for steel production for domestic and international markets. There are two subtopics: