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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL  have announced up to $20 million in federal funding for cooperative agreements that will help accelerate the deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). The selected projects will support the Office of Fossil Energy’s (FE) Carbon Storage Program. “Carbon capture is essential to lowering global carbon emissions,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. "By accelerating the deployment of this indispensable technology, the United States can continue to use its domestic energy resources for decades to come without compromising the environment.” Through this funding opportunity, DOE aims to award cooperative agreements to research and development (R&D) projects that will help identify and address regional storage and transport challenges currently facing the development of CCUS.  This funding opportunity seeks to preserve, share, and advance existing R&D by:
Briggs White
Briggs White, Ph.D., Technology Manager of NETL’s Crosscutting Research Program, was a keynote speaker at the Southwest Emerging Technology Symposium and Regional Small Business Summit, March 26-27 in El Paso, Texas. The symposium was hosted by the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), an institution with a long history of NETL research collaboration under the Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Other Minority Institutions (HBCU/OMI) initiative. White manages two of the Department of Energy’s (DOE)’s longest standing university training programs — the University Coal Research program and the HBCU/OMI program. Both programs generate fresh ideas, tap unique talent, define applicable fundamental scientific principles, and develop advanced concepts for generating new and improved technologies across the full spectrum of fossil energy R&D programs. The programs include annual competitions administered by NETL where grants are made available for capacity building and student training. Previous awards have focused on sensors and controls; computational energy sciences; water management, and advanced materials for power generation technologies.
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and NETL have selected two additional projects to receive $5 million in total federal funding: one each under DE-FOA-0001829 Developing Technologies for Advancement of Associated Geologic Storage for Basinal Geo-Laboratories, and DE-FOA-0001830 Transformational Pre-Combustion Carbon Capture Technologies.  A key priority for FE is to reduce the cost and risk of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies to accelerate widespread deployment. 
Natural gas operations
Broad national estimates of methane emissions obscure the ability to identify significant sources of methane at the regional level and the ability to target methane reduction opportunities effectively. An NETL-led study of natural gas liquids unloading provides a clear example of the importance of methane quantification research to improve the performance of the U.S. natural gas industry. The study highlights the need to consider variability in episodic emission sources and regional differences in developing robust methane emissions estimates. Methane is the primary component in natural gas, which provides abundant and affordable power for U.S. homes, businesses and more. However, methane within the atmosphere also contributes to the greenhouse effect. The Lab’s work to identify methane emissions sources and improve emissions estimates aids efforts by NETL and other research facilities to develop clean technologies that reduce methane emissions to ensure the public’s health, safety and security.
Brian
NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., met recently with Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas in Morgantown, West Virginia, to discuss how the two organizations can collaborate on opportunities that bolster economic and workforce development in the Appalachian region. The leaders and staff representing NETL and ARC discussed ways both organizations can work together to support development activities in the Appalachian region. Key discussions focused on the transformative research NETL conducts on energy and advanced manufacturing and programs that support future innovation and entrepreneurship based on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  During the visit, Thomas and his staff toured NETL’s Morgantown site and visited with scientists to discuss energy research underway including key activities involving advanced modeling and computing.
idaes
Cutting-edge computational tools developed by the NETL-led Institute for the Design of Advanced Energy Systems (IDAES) are available for the first time as open-source software. The revolutionary IDAES Process Systems Engineering (PSE) framework expands process modeling and optimization capabilities to boost the efficiency, reliability and flexibility of today’s fossil fuel-based power plants and accelerate next-generation energy technologies. The IDAES PSE framework addresses critical needs associated with improving the nation’s aging fossil energy fleet and developing tomorrow’s energy systems — challenging endeavors with the potential for considerable time and financial investments. Through a revolutionary process modeling approach that supports the design, analysis and optimization of fossil energy systems, the framework enables stakeholders to expedite technology development and improve operations by allowing them to assess how complex systems work together and consider novel processes for the future.  
the grid
Peter Balash, Ph.D., a senior economist at NETL in Pittsburgh will be part of a day-long national event dedicated to power grid improvement topics that will also feature appearances by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry, U.S. Rep. David McKinley (WV 1st), and representatives of private industry and academia Friday, March 29 in the nation’s Capital. The event, titled “Powering the Grid: Access, Affordability and Fuel Diversity” will address policy debates and changing technologies involved with improvements to the nation’s power grid. The discussion will occur at Charlie Palmer Steak, 101 Constitution Avenue NW in Washington. The event is free, but registration is required. Information on registration is available here.
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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 issued a Request for Information (RFI) for strategies for improving or creating emission-reduction or utilization technologies for hazardous substances resulting from coal combustion. DOE is seeking information that may assist in formulating strategies for the reduction of hazardous materials and waste streams, including approaches involving containment and/or isolation.  Waste streams of interest include those affecting air, water, and solid waste (by-product) disposal areas.  DOE is also interested in learning about technological strategies to improve management of coal ash ponds, such as by-product management facilities, ponds, and landfills. Responses to this RFI should provide an understanding of the state of the art and the potential benefits from the next generation of emission-reduction technologies, including removal or containment strategies, and by-product utilization strategies, for current and future coal-fired utility and industrial applications in the following areas:
Christina
Medical X-ray machines use electromagnetic radiation — radiant energy with wavelengths shorter those produced by visible light — to gain information about what is happening inside the human body. Likewise, airport security checkpoints employ X-rays to examine the internal contents of travelers’ baggage. Similarly, NETL researchers are using powerful light sources at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) facilities to enhance their fundamental understanding of rare earth elements (REEs) and their mysterious chemical bonds. In doing so, they hope to find a better way to optimize potential extraction of valuable REEs and other trace metals from rock, coal and coal combustion byproducts.
Chris Guenther and Yong Liu
In a cost-saving computer modeling effort, the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) assisted in solving a critical technical issue at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) Integrated Waste Treatment Unit (IWTU), preventing a long-term delay of start-up operations. IWTU is an Energy Department facility designed to treat 900,000 gallons of radioactive liquid waste by heating and essentially drying it into a solid granular material for long-term storage. The heat required in this process is created by a piece of equipment called a denitration mineralization reformer (DMR), in which coal, steam, air and oxygen interact. Because this mixture contains multiple phases of matter (i.e., solids and gases), an understanding of multiphase flow is critical for design and troubleshooting. “NETL is a globally recognized leader in multiphase flow,” said NETL researcher Chris Guenther, who worked on the project. “So, when IWTU encountered an issue with their DMR, they called on the Lab’s expertise.”