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CO2
To meet aggressive decarbonization goals set by the Biden Administration in the fight against climate change, NETL has developed toolsets such as the Lab’s CO2-SCREEN (Storage prospeCtive Resource Estimation Excel aNalysis) to advance carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology development and deployment. CO2-SCREEN provides reliable and accurate carbon dioxide (CO2) storage estimates for a wide variety of geological formations, allowing governments, industries and other stakeholders, including local communities, to confidently explore geologic carbon sequestration (GCS) options that will help achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the electric sector by 2035 and the broader economy by 2050.
EDX
The Energy Data eXchange (EDX), an NETL-developed virtual library and data laboratory built to advance fossil energy and environmental research and development (R&D), celebrates its 10th anniversary this month. EDX supports the entire lifecycle of data by offering secure, private collaborative workspaces to help scientists maximize their research potential and further critical technology advancements. The virtual tool has seen wide success since its inception and is in a prime position to support the artificial intelligence and machine learning big data revolution currently under way.
Winners
The NETL research team behind the development of Multi-functional Sorbent Technology (MUST) has earned a prestigious R&D 100 Award for its game-changing suite of low-cost, versatile sorbents that is highly effective in cleaning contaminated waterways and removing metals from electronic and pharmaceutical production processes. The MUST team, which was named a winner in the Mechanical/Materials category during a virtual awards ceremony held Wednesday, Oct. 20, is led by NETL’s McMahan Gray, a physical scientist in the Materials Engineering & Manufacturing directorate. Other team members are Walter Wilfong, Qiuming Wang, Fan Shi, Tuo Ji, Thomas Tarka, Nicholas Siefert and Brian Kail. Click here to watch a video about their revolutionary technology.
Cover
NETL presents the latest edition of its publication that showcases research on emerging energy technologies. NETL Edge shares the latest developments the Lab’s mission to drive innovation and deliver solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. In this issue, we feature key research and technology development in decarbonization. Check out the newly released edition of NETL Edge to learn more about the Lab’s proposed Direct Air Capture Test Center, how NETL is supporting efforts to address regional worker shortages and climate simultaneously, and our work to develop efficient, cost-effective technologies to convert carbon dioxide into chemical building blocks, such as formic acid that can function as a liquid hydrogen carrier. See more here.
National Energy Technology Laboratory researchers Mac Gray and Chris Wilfong utilize sorbents to extract solubilized rare earth elements from aqueous solutions.
NETL researchers have adapted a sorbent technology initially developed for carbon capture applications to remove contaminants and critical minerals from water sources, advancing environmental justice and spurring economic revitalization in energy communities. The Lab’s Multi-functional Sorbent Technology (MUST) comprises a suite of versatile and low-cost, regenerable sorbent materials that look like fine grains of sand, but these tiny materials make a big impact by removing toxic elements such as lead and mercury, among others, from acidic mine drainage (AMD), preventing the effluent streams from polluting fragile ecosystems.  “We’ve already partnered with industry on projects working toward developing systems to treat AMD in the Appalachian region, including one in West Virginia,” said NETL researcher McMahan Gray, who led the team that developed the original material for carbon capture and adapted the technology for water treatment.
FOA Logo
Regional Initiatives Are Helping States Leverage the Environmental and Economic Benefits of CCUS, Delivering Good-Paying Local Jobs The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $20 million in funding to four projects working to accelerate the regional deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). The projects, representing all four corners of the country, are referred to as DOE’s Regional Initiatives to Accelerate CCUS Deployment—an initiative designed to identify and address regional storage and transportation challenges facing the commercial deployment of CCUS. Expanding the deployment of CCUS will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial sources and is a crucial component to achieving the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
News
Learn about the latest developments in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)/NETL Carbon Capture Program in this month’s edition of the Carbon Capture Newsletter. The DOE/NETL Carbon Capture Program is developing the next generation of advanced carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technologies that can provide step-change reductions in both cost and energy requirements as compared to currently available technologies. The Carbon Capture Program focuses on the broad portfolio of projects, including post- and pre-combustion capture to reduce carbon emissions across a wide spectrum of industries. Other focus areas include carbon-based power generation and negative emissions technologies such as direct capture of CO2 from the atmosphere and bioenergy with carbon capture. Information featured in this month’s edition includes:
H2
NETL will leverage its wide range of hydrogen research and development (R&D) capabilities to support a collaborative clean hydrogen production and utilization project recently awarded $20 million in federal funding by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). NETL will join a consortium led by PNW Hydrogen LLC to produce clean hydrogen from nuclear power at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Phoenix, Arizona. Six tonnes of stored hydrogen will be used to produce approximately 200 megawatt-hours of electricity during times of high demand, and may be also used to make chemicals and other fuels. The project will provide insights about integrating nuclear energy with hydrogen production technologies and inform future clean hydrogen production deployments at scale. “We look forward to supporting this clean hydrogen project and the decarbonization pathways that it could open,” said NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D. “Our Lab has the unique facilities, and our researchers have broad expertise to help this team achieve success.”
REACT
NETL’s Microwave Ammonia Synthesis (MAS) process is a physics and chemistry trailblazer with the potential to meet the needs of the economy and lower the nation’s carbon footprint in chemicals production. One of the most widely used chemicals compounds worldwide, ammonia is largely used in the fertilizer market. Liquid ammonia also possesses all the desired properties for carbon neutral liquid fuels, which allow power generation without carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, making it a valuable commodity for sustainable energy. Because ammonia is a hydrogen carrier it is expected to play an increased role in hydrogen-powered systems as efforts to decarbonize the energy sector ramp up in coming years. For more than a century, the Haber-Bosch process has been the standard method to produce ammonia in bulk. However, this process functions at high pressures and temperatures and requires a constant supply of energy, which equates to higher operational costs and increased emissions of CO2.
Nor Farida Harun
NETL research scientist Nor Farida Harun, Ph.D., received a Special Recognition Award for her work toward developing a smart electrical grid during the Women of Color (WOC) in STEM Conference — Digital Twin Experience (DTX), held in a virtual setting Oct. 7-9. The theme for WOC DTX 2021, “Reset to Rise: It’s a New Day!”, reflected the global push to overcome the challenges of 2021 and move forward. For more than two decades, awards presented at this leading conference served the dual purpose of showcasing outstanding achievements in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and highlighting the significant barriers for women in the workforce. Recognition is more critical than ever as representation of women among the STEM occupational clusters has not changed markedly since 2016.