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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy, in collaboration with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Office of Science and NETL announced a request for information (RFI) about “enhanced weathering” research opportunities that could lead to advances in the capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). Weathering is nature’s process in which rocks are broken down and dissolved over time. The natural breakdown process releases calcium, which can bind to CO2 and remove it from the atmosphere.  Enhanced weathering uses technology or modified land-use approaches to accelerate the decomposition of calcium- and magnesium-rich silicate rocks and increase the rate of CO2 removal from the atmosphere.  It is, in effect, a technology with negative CO2 emissions.  In addition to its CO2 removal benefits, enhanced weathering can improve soil quality and fertility.
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.
Oct 5
Next week’s DOE-NETL 2020 Virtual Integrated Project Review Meeting will feature the nation’s leading experts in the field of developing cost-effective carbon capture technologies for the fossil energy power-generation sector. Subject matter experts from the U.S. Department of Energy, national labs, including NETL, academia and industry are scheduled to participate in this event to be held Monday, Oct. 5, Tuesday, Oct. 6, and Wednesday, Oct. 7. Click here to review the agenda and list of presentations. Registration is free. Complete the online registration form to participate in one, two or three days of the event.
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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL have announced the award of approximately $72 million in federal funding to support the development and advancement of carbon capture technologies under two funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). Under this cost-shared research and development (R&D), DOE is awarding $51 million to nine new projects for coal and natural gas power and industrial sources. DOE is awarding a total of $21 million to 18 projects for technologies that remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, a process known as “direct air capture.” “The projects selected as a part of this research will help us develop the technological solutions needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “This is critical to balancing our Nation’s energy use while continuing to lead the world in emissions reductions.”
NETL’s 2020 Compendium of Carbon Capture Technology, which provides a technical summary of the Lab’s Carbon Capture program, is now available for viewing online. The document allows stakeholders in corporations, small businesses, universities, other national laboratories, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to learn more about the activities of the Carbon Capture program. Developing advanced CO2 capture technologies is critical to keeping fossil energy-based power generation affordable and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In the 2020 Compendium of Carbon Capture Technology, research and development (R&D) efforts highlighted include the development of sorbents, solvents, membranes and novel concepts for both post- and pre-combustion CO2 capture.
NETL researchers have developed a method to custom-formulate low-cost membranes to more effectively separate carbon dioxide from nitrogen in a high volume of flue gas. This ability to achieve both high selectivity and high permeability during post-combustion carbon capture operations is one of the most difficult problems facing membrane researchers today. The NETL group solved the challenge by chemically binding multiple membrane components with different critical properties into one high-performance material that can be easily scaled up to reduce the costs of large-scale carbon capture operations.
The 2020 Virtual Integrated Project Review Meeting, a series of free virtual sessions organized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL, will begin Monday, Aug. 17, with CCUS Integrated Projects, a three-day conference on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), and will continue into the fall with sessions highlighting technologies for efficient and cleaner uses of fossil energy resources and value-added products. Over a 12-week period, projects from several DOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE) portfolios, including Crosscutting Technologies, Rare Earth Elements, Advanced Energy Systems, Carbon Capture, Carbon Storage and Carbon Utilization, and Oil and Natural Gas Research will be reviewed. Sessions will feature leading scientists and engineers as they discuss how research and development activities sponsored by DOE FE are advancing transformative science and technologies to support the efficient and environmentally sound use of fossil fuels.
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Committed to its goal of developing new energy technologies while retaining environmental integrity, NETL manages a vast portfolio of carbon capture research and development projects that are successfully reducing costs to ensure the availability of clean, reliable and affordable power from America’s abundant domestic resources. In 2007, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that current and projected atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), threaten the public health and welfare of present and future generations. Carbon capture technologies reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing CO2 from fossil energy-fueled power plants before they are released into the atmosphere. Existing capture technologies add costs for industry and consumers. NETL is leveraging cutting-edge research facilities, world-class technical expertise and strategic collaborations to develop efficient and economical solutions that make carbon capture technology viable for decades to come.
The oxy-kerosene flames used in the research is the same ultra-high temperature fuel used during the Space Race.
NETL-led research shows the possibilities and benefits of developing magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) power generation such as improved efficiency for fossil fuel power plants and reducing the costs of implementing carbon capture. MHD generation works by taking direct kinetic energy from fast-moving ionized gases and converts it into electricity without any moving parts. This is done through the Lorentz force, which deflects opposite charged particles away from each other in a strong magnetic field. By collecting oppositely charges on electrodes, an electrical potential or voltage is developed that can be used to drive external loads. Peter Hsieh, with NETL’s Structural Materials Team, said the conditions to make an MHD generator work can be applied in solar, nuclear, and fossil fuel power plants to increase energy efficiency and drive down the costs of carbon capture. Carbon dioxide and water vapor are the only combustion products in oxy-fuel fired power plants, and the latter is readily separated through condensation. MHD generation makes oxy-fuel combustion more economical by helping to recoup the energy needed to separate oxygen from air.
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Researchers at NETL are one step closer to solving one of the most difficult problems associated with developing post-combustion carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology. The team has developed a new process to create a chemically bound, dual-layer membrane or sorbent that combines the benefits of high permeability and high selectivity – two material qualities that are usually mutually exclusive – to more effectively separate CO2 from nitrogen found in power plant flue gas.