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Oil Derrick
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has approved an unsolicited proposal, titled Quantification of Methane Emissions from Marginal (Small Producing) Oil and Gas Wells, received from GSI Environmental Inc. (GSI).  The data collected from well sites in basins across the United States will help address critical knowledge gaps and support best management practices that are appropriate for marginal wells. This effort complements related DOE research and analysis projects conducted by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to improve understanding of methane emissions and identify potential reduction strategies that can improve the operational efficiency of the Nation’s natural gas production and delivery systems.
Funding Opportunity Announcement
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) for a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for cost-shared research and development projects that will ultimately enhance the potential for deepwater enhanced oil recovery (EOR) of conventional resources. DE-FOA-0002005, Advanced Operations and Sensing Technologies to Improve Efficiency and Capabilities for EOR in Deepwater Offshore Wells, will support DOE’s offshore oil and gas portfolio. The objective of the FOA is to advance promising low technology readiness level (TRL) offshore operations and sensing technologies such as, but not limited to, those that DOE/FE previously initiated with industry under its Ultra-Deepwater Offshore Program. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the potential projects, which will aim to increase efficiency of operations and reduce cost and complexity.
1022 REE
Rare earth elements (REEs) – an integral component of high-technology products from smart phones and lasers to computer hard drives, medical devices and national defense systems – are not that rare, they just appear in miniscule concentrations in a variety of sources, including water. NETL researchers have developed a way to effectively filter water from oil and natural gas well flowbacks, industrial waste streams, acid mine drainage and even municipal drinking water to recover valuable REEs. According to the U.S. Geological Society, in 2015, global REE reserves were 130,000,000 tons. At the same time, world REE demand is growing at about 8 percent annually. Because natural water systems like rivers, groundwater, seawater and even acid mine drainage streams are viable sources for REE recovery, NETL researchers adapted an innovation they developed originally to capture carbon dioxide ( CO2) from coal burning power plants to address the REE recovery challenge.
The eXtremeMAT team met Oct. 18, 2018, in Columbus, OH to review research plans and progress
Fossil energy transformational power technologies like ultra-supercritical steam plants and supercritical carbon-dioxide power have the potential to increase efficiencies and bolster clean coal efforts because they operate at higher temperatures and pressures. However, this leads to harsher and more corrosive conditions compared to traditional power plants. Furthermore, today’s current fleet of fossil power plants are increasingly being subjected to cycling conditions due to the penetration of renewable energy sources onto the electricity grid. These plants were designed for baseload operations, and the changing of plant temperature and pressures during cycling adds stress to the materials of construction, which may cause premature failure of components in service. Thus, the materials of construction are being subjected to more “extreme” operating environments. Accelerating the development of improved steels, superalloys and other advanced alloys is of paramount importance in deploying materials solutions to address materials challenges associated with both the existing fleet and future power systems.
Photos from LEAP 4
Energy experts from around the U.S., China and Europe are converging at NETL in Morgantown this week to share ideas and challenges related to innovations that will improve flexibility in hybrid power cycles as part of the Low Emission Advanced Power (LEAP 4) Workshop on Flexibility in Power Systems. Compared to traditional, base-load power generation, the changing electric market has placed a new value on technologies that are both efficient and flexible over a wide load range. The goal of the workshop is to accelerate the development and commercialization of highly flexible, low-emission, high-efficiency hybrid power systems of the future by promoting dialog among the leading international researchers in hybrid system technology and controls development. Critical research needs are being identified in sessions that seek to coordinate international efforts. In lieu of traditional presentations, attendees are sharing technical expertise through an interactive format. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will publish a final assessment of general opportunities and technical issues related to highly integrated hybrid power systems, authored by the attendees.
Seventeen elements within the periodic table are considered REEs. Rare earths are highly valuable because they are essential components of modern technological devices, such as cell phones and computer hard drives.
Acid mine drainage (AMD) – a waste byproduct that must be treated – is an inevitable trade-off for the affordable, abundant and reliable power derived from coal mining operations. But AMD now offers potential economic opportunities, thanks to emerging technology being developed in collaboration with NETL to extract rare earth elements (REEs). Seventeen elements within the periodic table are considered REEs. Rare earths are highly valuable because they are essential components of modern technological devices, such as cell phones and computer hard drives. They are also used in advanced technologies that support a broad range of industries, including health care, transportation and defense.
With expected shortfalls of 1-2 million unfilled jobs in science-, technology-, engineering- and math- (STEM-) related industries over the next decade, it will be imperative to attract and retain more people – including underrepresented populations – to join the STEM workforce.
With expected shortfalls of 1-2 million unfilled jobs in science-, technology-, engineering- and math- (STEM-) related industries over the next decade, it will be imperative to attract and retain more people – including underrepresented populations – to join the STEM workforce. These future opportunities include high-tech and highly skilled jobs in energy and advanced manufacturing in active National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) research areas, such as advanced computing, new composite materials, novel manufacturing processes and innovative research related to fossil fuels. 
Creating Pittsburgh's Energy Future Today
NETL’s work to assist the City of Pittsburgh in its “Clean Energy City of the Future” initiatives will be recognized by the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Mid-Atlantic Region with a state and local economic development award for 2018 during the organization’s regional meeting set for Wednesday, Nov. 14 at the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, Maryland. The FLC is a formally chartered organization mandated by Congress to promote, educate and facilitate technology transfer among more than 300 federal laboratories, research centers and agencies. Its Mid-Atlantic Region serves as an important link between the public and federal technology, technical expertise, and research and development assets. The FLC Mid-Atlantic Region provides gateway services, networking opportunities, conferences, publications, training, and technology locator assistance across all federal agencies.
FOA Logo
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has issued a Notice of Intent for a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) expected to fund cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects that reduce technical risks associated with enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and expand application of EOR methods. The objective of DE-FOA-0001988, Advanced Technologies for Enhanced Oil Recovery, is to competitively solicit and award R&D projects that will focus primarily on developing enhanced recovery technologies in unconventional and conventional reservoirs. Projects should also aid in the development of domestic unconventional fossil energy resources, as well as improve the understanding of reservoirs and improve low recovery factors from unconventional oil wells. FE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the selected projects, which will focus on two areas of interest: 1) EOR technologies for onshore conventional oil reservoirs and 2) EOR technologies for unconventional reservoirs.
REE hand and Devices
NETL Researchers Paul Ohodnicki, Ph.D., and Dustin McIntyre, Ph.D., have worked with optical sensors and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for years, adapting their respective technologies to fit different applications. When the U.S. Department of Energy recently made securing a domestic supply of rare earth elements (REEs) a priority, both researchers realized that portable sensors were uniquely suited to achieve this goal.