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The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced up to $7 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001830, Transformational Pre-Combustion Carbon Capture Technologies. Projects selected under this FOA will support FE’s Carbon Capture Program by advancing carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and separation systems to help meet overall fossil energy performance goals.
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) announced up to $10.4 million, subject to availability of appropriations, in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects. DOE seeks projects under funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001826 , Developing Technologies to Advance the Understanding of State of Stress and Geomechanical Impacts within the Subsurface.
SWPA science bowl winners
Pittsburgh Allderdice High School from Squirrel Hill and Marshall Middle School from Wexford, PA, claimed victory at the 27th annual Southwestern Pennsylvania (SWPA) Regional Science Bowl held Feb. 24 and March 3, 2018, at the Community College of Allegheny County’s South Campus, in West Mifflin, Pa. About 40 teams from high schools and 32 teams from middle schools throughout SWPA participated in the competition, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The SWPA Regional Science Bowl tested students’ knowledge of math and science with round-robin and double-elimination competition rounds. High school teams competed Feb. 24, followed by middle school students on March 3. This year’s SWPA competition included welcoming remarks from CCAC South Campus President Dr. Charlene Newkirk for the high school competition and CCAC President Dr. Quintin B. Bullock for the middle school competition, as well as representatives from NETL.
Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steve Winberg looks on as Acting NETL Director Sean Plasynski (left) and ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia shake hands.
Two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories with energy research expertise are joining forces to pursue research on new ways to use coal to create innovative high-value products. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed today by representatives of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) at NETL’s Pittsburgh site. DOE Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steve Winberg attended the signing event. “The MOU signed today signals the Department’s continued commitment to enhancing the use of our coal resources,” said Assistant Secretary Winberg. “The depth and breadth of scientific knowledge across the DOE enterprise, especially at our National Labs, is what allows for this kind of innovative partnership.” Joining Assistant Secretary Winberg at the MOU signing were ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia, Acting NETL Director Sean Plasynski, and Lab employees. According to Plasynski and Zacharia, the MOU will lead to joint exploration of projects that use coal as a precursor for products like pitches, fibers, nanocarbon catalysts, and other structural or functional materials.
NETL NEWS
Pittsburgh, Pa. – Sean I. Plasynski, Ph.D., a 28-year veteran of federal fossil energy research, has been named acting director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). Plasynski was named to the leadership post by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg following the retirement of Grace Bochenek, Ph.D., who served as director for three years.  “This Laboratory has a long history of helping to provide energy security for the people of the United States,” he said. “It is a history accentuated by bold research and solid contributions that have had long-lasting impacts. It is an honor to have the privilege of working with a roster of talented researchers and administrators who have the skills and expertise to continue moving our nation forward.”
Microscopy
When 17th-century Dutch scientist Anton van Leeuwenhoek fashioned the world’s first real microscope by polishing lenses and positioning them in a tube that produced magnifying power, he opened doors to a new world in which people could view objects as small as one millionth of a meter. At the time, van Leeuwenhoek couldn’t have known that 350 years later, his technology would become so advanced that scientists would be using it today to tackle some of the 21st-century’s greatest challenges. Today, researchers at the National Energy Technology laboratory (NETL) use an array of microscopy tools to advance key energy research, particularly research related to fossil energy. Circe Verba, Ph.D., of the Lab’s Geology and Geospatial Analysis Team, offered insight into advanced microscopy.   “Microscopes and imaging techniques have long been vital for researchers to observe structures and quantify composition,” she said. “NETL researchers use advanced microscopy and microanalysis techniques to tackle some of the challenges facing the safe and efficient use of our nation’s fossil energy resources.”
WV Science Bowl
Nine thousand high school students, more than four thousand middle school students, and thousands and thousands of volunteers have come together to put on a competition like no other since 1991. The U.S. Department of Energy manages and sponsors the National Science Bowl, a nationwide academic competition that tests students’ knowledge in all areas of science and mathematics, each year in Washington, D.C. during the month of April. The competition is a culmination of hard work from teachers, coaches, and students from across the country to volunteers, organizers, and sponsors who put together the qualifying rounds that feed winners into the big show. Qualifying rounds for the Jeopardy-style competition are held in all 50 states, in Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, making the National Science Bowl one of the largest science competitions in the nation.
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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected six projects to receive $17.6 million in federal funding under the Office of Fossil Energy’s Novel and Enabling Carbon Capture Transformational Technologies funding opportunity announcement. This FOA will address the cost and operational challenges associated with current CO2 capture technologies that are commercially available for industry, providing for additional development to these technologies at coal-fired power plants. Some of the challenges that will be addressed include a need to improve the reliability and operational flexibility; reduce high capital costs; and reduce the high-energy penalty associated with operating existing technology.
Carbon Capture Technologies Projects
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy has selected seven projects to receive approximately $44 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development through the funding opportunity announcement, Design and Testing of Advanced Carbon Capture Technologies. These projects will advance competitive operation of our nation's fossil-based power-generation infrastructure by reducing energy consumption and capital costs associated with next-generation carbon capture systems. Specifically, the projects will target one of two areas: 1) engineering-scale testing of transformational solvent- or membrane-based carbon dioxide (CO₂) capture technologies, or 2) designing a commercial-scale, post-combustion CO₂ capture system at an existing coal-fueled generating unit.  The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the selected projects. The following four projects were selected under Area of Interest 1, Scaling of Carbon Capture Technologies to Engineering Scales Using Existing Host Site Infrastructure:
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have selected nine projects to receive approximately $6.5 million in federal funding for Phase I of the Fossil Fuel Large-Scale Pilots funding opportunity announcement (FOA). This FOA, issued in August 2017, is a $50 million funding opportunity for projects supporting cost-shared research and development to design, construct, and operate two large-scale pilots to demonstrate transformational coal technologies. DOE has supported a range of potentially transformational coal technologies aimed at enabling step-change improvements in coal-powered systems. Some of these technologies are now ready to proceed to the large-scale pilot stage of development. The selections announced today have demonstrated technical success at the small-scale pilot stage. The FOA involves three phases, with competitive down-selections made between phases: