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Funding Addresses Urgent Need for Global Leadership and Collaboration on Deployment of Durable Carbon Dioxide Removal  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $14.5 million in available funding to leverage existing low-carbon energy to scale-up direct air capture (DAC) technology combined with reliable carbon storage. DAC, a carbon dioxide removal approach, is a process that separates carbon dioxide (CO2) from ambient air. The separated CO2 can then be safely and permanently stored deep underground or converted into products. DAC is considered a growing and necessary field that still requires significant investments to create a cost-effective and economically viable technology that can be deployed at scale in the commercial CO2 market. Advancing the deployment of DAC approaches is critical to combatting the current climate crisis and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050—a key priority for the Biden-Harris Administration.
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Regional Initiatives Are Helping States Leverage the Environmental and Economic Benefits of CCUS, Delivering Good-Paying Local Jobs The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $20 million in funding to four projects working to accelerate the regional deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). The projects, representing all four corners of the country, are referred to as DOE’s Regional Initiatives to Accelerate CCUS Deployment—an initiative designed to identify and address regional storage and transportation challenges facing the commercial deployment of CCUS. Expanding the deployment of CCUS will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial sources and is a crucial component to achieving the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., highlighted how research efforts have supported the development of new ways to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into useful products during the 3rd International Conference on Carbon Recycling. Held in a virtual setting Oct. 4, participants at this year’s International Conference on Carbon Recycling included a mix of government, energy producer, and small business representatives that are united in their support of carbon conversion efforts, which is a key technology for realizing carbon neutrality. The conference also served to strengthen cooperation and share information between stakeholders from multiple countries around the globe. Anderson was a speaker on the panel, “Technologies for the Future, Expectation by Investment,” that highlighted NETL supported research and development projects putting CO2 to economic use.
Integrated CCUS Projects and FEED Studies, the first of six virtual sessions of the 2021 Carbon Management and Oil and Gas Research Project Review Meeting, will take place starting Monday, Aug. 2, 2021.
Meeting participants will discuss carbon management topics, including carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and front-end engineering design (FEED) studies for both power and industrial sectors, during the first of six project review meetings to be held in August.  The virtual session “Integrated CCUS Projects and FEED Studies,” will take place Monday, Aug. 2, and Tuesday, Aug. 3, and feature many of the Lab’s collaborative efforts with external partners around the nation that are helping to achieve the Biden Administration’s net-zero carbon emission goals in the power sector by 2035 and the broader economy by 2050.
The automated flash Joule heating system converts carbon-ore-based materials with a greater than 90% processing yield of 99% graphene within milliseconds while avoiding the drawbacks of other graphene production methods.
In partnership with NETL, researchers at Rice University are studying how an advanced conversion process called flash Joule heating (FJH) can inexpensively produce high-value graphene from carbon ore using scalable technology, producing a valuable additive for next-generation technology and advanced manufacturing methods. Composed of a single layer of carbon atoms tightly bound in a honeycomb-like pattern, graphene has incredible mechanical and electrical properties – tensile strength over two hundred times greater than structural steel and electrical conductivity greater than copper.  Graphene shows promise for a wide variety of applications including composite building materials (such as cement, concrete, and plastics), automotive and aerospace parts, batteries and supercapacitors for energy storage, or as an electrical conductor. For example, just 0.1 weight% of graphene as an additive to concrete can result in a stronger, lighter concrete material that can have a longer useful life and a reduced carbon footprint. Just 1% addition of graphene to asphalt can triple the lifetime of a road.  
After nearly two decades of collaboration and research, the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB) helped the country come closer to commercial deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies. As one of seven of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships, SECARB was a $130 million program established in 2003 and managed by the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) with the primary goals of identifying major sources of carbon emissions, characterizing the geology of a 13-state region, determining the most promising options for commercial deployment of carbon dioxide (CO2) storage technologies in the South, and validating the technology options. “The projects undertaken during this collaboration were crucial stepping stones in building confidence in large scale CO2 storage,” said Mary Sullivan, an NETL project manager with the Lab’s Carbon Utilization and Storage Team. “As NETL supports the Administration’s goal to decarbonize the U.S. economy, the contributions of SECARB provides valuable experience upon which to build going forward.”
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.”
A University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) technology developed in partnership with NETL 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.