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With NETL leadership and support, researchers at Battelle successfully helped to pave the way for commercial deployment of carbon capture, storage and utilization (CCUS) technologies that will reduce the effects of climate change while utilizing America’s fossil energy resources through vital research associated with the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP). CCUS has been identified as one of most reliable and feasible means of addressing climate change while still maintaining the flow of energy supplies to an increasingly tech-driven and power-hungry globalized economy. The Midwest region of the U.S. in particular is undergoing a major energy transition from coal-based sources to sharply increasing natural gas. This necessitates the use of CCUS for disposition of carbon dioxide, which requires characterization, qualification and development of numerous storage sites to complement the carbon capture. These future projects also offer a major employment opportunity for workers in the oil and gas related industries.
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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) announced $8 million in federal funding for four projects to develop and test technologies that capture and utilize carbon dioxide (CO2) from power systems or other industrial sources to create valuable products and services, biomass and bi-products. Using algae, the selected projects will develop conversion technologies to decrease emissions, helping to reach the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050. “Capturing and utilizing CO2 from sources across power and industrial sectors is critical to fighting climate change — and to creating new jobs and opportunities in hard hit communities across the country,” said Dr. Jennifer Wilcox, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. “These projects represent an important step in those efforts.”
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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today awarded $19 million for 13 projects in traditionally fossil fuel-producing communities across the country to support production of rare earth elements and critical minerals vital to the manufacturing of batteries, magnets, and other components important to the clean energy economy. Facing persistent shortages in domestic supply, the U.S. has been forced to rely on imported materials, leaving clean energy technology production at greater risk of disruption. Projects will be managed by DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). “The very same fossil fuel communities that have powered our nation for decades can be at the forefront of the clean energy economy by producing the critical minerals needed to build electric vehicles, wind turbines, and so much more,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “By building clean energy products here at home, we’re securing the supply chain for the innovative solutions needed to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 – all while creating good-paying jobs in all parts of America.”
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An NETL-supported technology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) won the grand prize in the prestigious NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE global competition for the development of an eco-friendly process that infuses a revolutionary concrete with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions directly captured from power plants and other industrial facilities. UCLA’s CarbonBuilt team was awarded the grand prize on April 19 and will receive $7.5 million in the competition’s track for technologies related to coal-fired power generation. UCLA’s entry was one of 47 submissions from 38 teams in seven countries. UCLA was named one of the 10 finalists in October 2017.
Brian Anderson
NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., will highlight NETL-supported projects to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), technologies to capture and store it safely, and processes to make value-added products from the carbon waste stream during an address to the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on Wednesday, March 10, beginning at 10 a.m. Anderson, officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, representatives from the energy industry and others will present updates on the deployment of CO2 management and mitigation technologies. “It will be my pleasure to share the work undertaken by the Lab and its partners to make carbon capture, utilization and storage a widely available, cost-effective and rapidly scalable solution to meet our goals for a carbon emission-free electricity sector no later than 2035 and economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050,” Anderson said.
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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) announced plans to make $8 million in Federal funding available for cost-shared research, development, and testing of technologies that can utilize carbon dioxide (CO2) from power systems or other industrial sources for bio-mediated uptake by algal systems to create valuable products and services. Funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002403, Engineering-Scale Testing and Validation of Algae-Based Technologies and Bioproducts, will support the goals of DOE’s Carbon Utilization Program. The primary objective of carbon utilization technology development is to lower the near-term cost of carbon capture through the creation of value-added products from the conversion of carbon dioxide.
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In a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy’s (FE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA),  more than 1,200 hours of field testing was completed at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC), successfully demonstrating a process to create concrete masonry units (CMUs, or concrete blocks) using carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plant flue gas without the need for a carbon capture step. This demonstration is a success for the Carbon Utilization Program and illustrates the potential of a utilization technology to supply a large market with low-carbon concrete products while simultaneously reducing power plant CO2 emissions.
Southern Company photo
Photo Credit: Southern Company Photo The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL have renewed an agreement with Southern Company to operate the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC), setting the stage for expansion at the DOE-sponsored facility into new areas of research to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel-based power plants, and to advance carbon dioxide (CO2) utilization and direct air capture (DAC) solutions.
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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL have selected two projects to receive approximately $2 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development. The projects will improve coal combustion residuals management under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002190, Research for Innovative Emission Reduction Technologies Related to Coal Combustion Residuals. The selected projects represent the first round of selections for this FOA. Applications are still being accepted for the second round of the FOA, which closes on September 30, 2020. Coal combustion residuals (CCRs) consist primarily of fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum, and other FGD-solid by-products, from coal-fired power plants. Research and development efforts under this FOA aim to economically increase the beneficial use and management of CCRs, reducing the volume needed to be disposed of in impoundments while protecting the environment and the health and safety of the public.
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL have selected 11 projects to receive approximately $17 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects for carbon utilization. The projects will develop and test technologies that can utilize carbon dioxide (CO2) from power systems or other industrial sources as the primary feedstock. The research goal of DOE’s Carbon Utilization Program  is to reduce emissions and transform waste carbon streams into value-added products.