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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.
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.
Over the last 10 years, the NETL-led National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP) has built industrial confidence and worked to accelerate the commercial deployment of large-scale geologic carbon storage (GCS), which will allow for the continued use of abundant fossil fuels in an environmentally responsible manner by safely and permanently storing carbon dioxide from industrial sources deep underground. Now well into its second phase, NRAP is expanding its award-winning toolset and forging new collaborations that will continue to improve the initiative’s ability to address critical questions of GCS risk management.
Placed end to end, the total length of the rock core samples scrutinized last year by NETL researcher Dustin Crandall, Ph.D., and his colleagues would span roughly 10 football fields. Driving much of that impressive volume is the need to complete rock core characterization studies to support large-scale geologic carbon sequestration and to make that data available to the public. NETL supports projects to safely and permanently store carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants and other industrial sources by injecting it into deep underground reservoirs capped by layers of non-porous rock. These efforts not only reduce emissions of greenhouse gases; they also support continued use of abundant fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas in an environmentally responsible manner.
A new iteration of NETL's CO2-SCREEN software application is enabling researchers to more accurately estimate carbon dioxide storage potential in previously overlooked locations, opening the door for carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) projects on a large scale, along with new enhanced oil recovery operations. Originally developed to estimate prospective carbon dioxide (CO2) storage potential in saline and shale formations, the latest version of the Lab's CO2-SCREEN (Storage prospeCtive Resource Estimation Excel aNalysis) tool can be used for estimations in residual oil zones (ROZs), which can serve as valuable sites for CCUS projects. ROZs are deposits of immobile oil typically found underneath conventional reservoirs. These reservoirs have essentially been "waterflooded” by nature — natural water movement through the reservoir, pushing the oil in the direction of production wells. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates ROZs could contain 100 billion barrels of recoverable oil, representing a substantial yet underutilized source of domestic energy.
Carbon Capture
A first-of-its-kind suite of tools developed by NETL researchers is enabling better decision-making regarding the economic challenges of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and helping stakeholders to effectively evaluate the costs of implementing these technologies in electric power and industrial plants. The new tools and resources offer a step toward widespread implementation of CCUS technologies, which is an important strategy for mitigating CO2 emissions from fossil fuel-based power generation and industrial sources.