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Rick Perry and Brian Anderson
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry was at NETL in Pittsburgh Tuesday to learn about the Laboratory’s work to significantly increase oil and gas recovery effectiveness while reducing environmental impacts using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) techniques. NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., hosted the Secretary’s visit. Anderson said Secretary Perry visited to learn about how NETL is investigating emergent AI and ML techniques for upstream, midstream, and downstream conversion techniques that can revolutionize fossil energy opportunities. AI is a branch of computer science focused on creation of intelligent machines to increase accuracy and efficiency, reduce human errors, and reduce costs.  NETL is developing AI applications for a multiphase particle tracking software platform.  
As NETL prepares for its inaugural Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage, and Oil and Gas Technologies Integrated Project Review Meeting, “Addressing the Nation’s Energy Needs Through Technology Innovation,” the Lab is releasing three additional infographics to highlight the success of NETL-managed carbon capture research and development (R&D) projects that are reducing costs to ensure the availability of clean, reliable and affordable energy from America’s abundant domestic resources.
NETL presents the latest edition of our publication that showcases the Lab’s research on emerging energy technologies. NETL Edge shares the latest developments our talented scientists and engineers are advancing to use our nation’s energy resources efficiently and safely to bolster American’s energy independence. Check out the summer edition to learn more about our research to convert coal into valuable products, advance mixed matrix membranes for carbon capture, improve enhanced oil recovery processes and more. Click here to read more.
Three Patents
Three innovative NETL energy technologies have been awarded patents:
Group Photo
Industry, academia and government leaders from around the world are attending the NETL 2019 Workshop on Multiphase Flow Science (MFS) Tuesday through Thursday in Morgantown, West Virginia. MFS is the study of the flow of liquid or solid materials with different chemical properties. NETL hosts the workshop annually to allow attendees to share data and experiences that help guide future research. The Workshop goal is to advance use of physics-based multiphase simulations and experiments to help overcome the technical barriers associated with the development of highly efficient, environmentally acceptable energy and environmental and industrial technologies and processes. Attendees are sharing their experiences to help researchers better understand industry needs and priorities for future research.
Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy Research Continues to Evolve at NETL
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, or LIBS, is a rapidly advancing analytical technique that provides a cost-effective, quick and precise method for determining the elemental composition of any solid, liquid or gas sample. Knowing exactly what elements are present enables researchers to characterize domestic sources of valuable rare earth elements, help natural gas producers develop more efficient shale drilling operations, assure safe and permanent carbon storage and monitor groundwater quality — essential work for providing the nation with affordable, reliable energy while still protecting the environment. In prior research, NETL researchers successfully miniaturized a LIBS system that can be deployed downhole for subsurface measurements. The simple, easy-to-fabricate, miniature LIBS probe is fully adaptable to field use and capable of measurements even in harsh environments. Now, the same research team has developed a complimentary lab-scale LIBS system that can take measurements under conditions representing the native environment of the sample.
Sensor Advances
With sponsorship by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) has advanced a harsh environment sensor technology from concept to full industrial validation. The sensor system will enable real-time, accurate and reliable monitoring of temperatures inside a power plant’s boiler system, lowering operating costs through better operational control. “Temperature measurement helps optimize processes and detect failures, reducing downtime and improving operational efficiency,” said NETL’s Jessica Mullen, who managed the project. “Advantages like these could help make technologies like coal gasifiers, gas turbines, ultra-supercritical steam cycle designs and other critical power systems more cost-competitive.”
Brian Anderson
NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., appeared before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Thursday to discuss how the Laboratory effectively develops innovative energy technologies that promote economic growth and competitiveness.  The committee is chaired by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is the ranking member on the committee. Anderson told the committee that as a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratory, NETL addresses large scale, complex research and development challenges and emphasizes innovation while playing a key role in the innovation ecosystems of the regions where it operates and the nation. He said NETL pursues an aggressive strategy for discovery, development and deployment of energy technology innovations with an emphasis on collaborations with universities, other national laboratories and private sector partnerships.
Representatives from NETL’s Oil and Gas Program attended the 2019 Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) July 22-24 in Denver, connecting with other experts advancing the science and technology of unconventional resource development and exploration. Unconventional resources, which include supplies of oil and gas contained in shales and other tight formations, are critical to ensuring energy security for the nation, and conferences like URTeC provide a way for Lab employees to share their expertise in the field while learning about important new developments in academia and industry.
National Lab Day
NETL researchers highlighted the Lab’s work to develop innovative technology solutions focused on flexibility and sustainability July 24 at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2019 National Lab Day on the Hill. Held on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., National Lab Day on the Hill offers members of Congress, their staffers, DOE leaders and others an opportunity to engage with scientists and learn more about the groundbreaking research underway by DOE’s 17 national laboratories. This year’s presentations focused on key themes tied to emerging DOE research areas — including flexibility, sustainability, resiliency, reliability, security and the National Labs as a system.