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Brian Anderson
NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., will highlight NETL’s carbon capture technology development and its vital role in decarbonizing the energy sector during Carnegie Mellon University’s Energy Week, which will be held virtually Monday, March 22 though Friday, March 26. “Carbon capture technologies have the potential to offer viable pathways to enable deep decarbonatization of both the U.S. and the world,” Anderson said. “Early on, NETL recognized the need to rapidly accelerate development and deployment of these technologies, and we already have a solid foundation in place to achieve a carbon emission-free electricity sector by 2035 and economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050.” NETL manages a broad portfolio of carbon capture projects, including post-combustion and pre-combustion capture to reduce carbon emissions in a wide spectrum of industries, from fossil-fueled power generation to manufacturing and heavy industry, as well as negative emissions technologies, such as direct capture of CO2 from the atmosphere and bioenergy with carbon capture.
As part of an update to NETL’s Institute for the Design of Advanced Energy Systems (IDAES) Integrated Platform, the Lab is announcing the release of a robust new dynamic power plant modeling library that could lead to more efficient, reliable and flexible power plants while providing a foundation for the development of innovative, new integrated energy systems to support widespread decarbonization. The IDAES Dynamic Power Plant Modeling Library can be leveraged to improve power plant efficiency during flexible operation and explore tradeoffs between the short-term benefits of quickly ramping capacity with long-term impacts on equipment health.
Power Plant
The work of NETL-funded research and development efforts conducted by the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI) has seen cyber security improvements adopted at major energy facilities across the United States. Changing market conditions are forcing power generation facility owners and operators to adopt new advanced digital technologies to generate operational flexibility, maintenance efficiencies and meet the needs of a transitioning workforce. However, such technologies can increase the potential for a cyber security attack by using more software and interconnected assets. That’s why NETL and EPRI, along with Idaho National Laboratory and Southern Engineering Services, collaborated with industry to develop a holistic cyber security risk reduction framework for power generation facilities. The Lifecycle Risk Reduction Framework (LRRF) provides a scalable, three step process for implementing a right-sized cyber strategy to protect industrial control systems.
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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected two projects to receive approximately $2 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development. The projects will improve coal combustion residuals management under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002190, Research for Innovative Emission Reduction Technologies Related to Coal Combustion Residuals. DOE selected two projects in July 2020 under the first round of selections. The selected projects announced today represent the second round of selections for this FOA.
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has selected four projects to receive $2 million in Federal funding for cost-shared research and development under funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002376, Enabling Gasification of Blended Coal, Biomass and Plastic Wastes to Produce Hydrogen with Potential for Net Negative Carbon Dioxide Emissions. This FOA focuses on the advancement of net-negative carbon emitting technologies that aim to produce hydrogen or other high-value fuels, whether as the sole product or as a co-product. Developing co-gasification technologies is a way to introduce net-negative carbon technologies that can help alleviate concerns about potential feedstock availability and other operational issues. The four projects selected are described below:
Store Closed
NETL’s Energy Markets Analysis Team (EMAT) conducts analyses to help utilities prepare for changing conditions and recover rapidly from disruptions. The recent near-collapse of the electrical grid in Texas, which occurred during an unusually severe winter storm, validates the importance of EMAT’s work and the value of the recommendations it issues. The February 2021 storm brought the grid, operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), precariously close to a complete blackout. In a last-minute effort to avert that, ERCOT ordered rolling outages that plunged much of the state into darkness while electricity prices skyrocketed. Assurances that the power infrastructure was prepared to endure harsh winter conditions proved false. Power plants were knocked offline and pumps used to produce the natural gas needed to fuel them froze over.
Funding opportunities to meet workforce development needs and support economic development in distressed communities are highlighted in the February 2021 edition of RWFI E-Note Monthly. Application deadlines for many of these programs are approaching quickly. Important announcements in this edition of RWFI E-Note Monthly include:
Pilot scale
A NETL-supported project by Physical Sciences, Inc. (PSI) has demonstrated its capabilities to produce rare earth element (REE) concentrates using available coal ash resources from Appalachia, providing a potential domestic source of these critical minerals and a means of local environmental remediation. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL have prioritized the creation of a domestic supply chain for production of REEs because they are crucial for a variety of economic, energy and defense applications. However, the current supply chain is dominated by other countries. Therefore, a domestic source would insulate the U.S. from any disruptions in global trade of REEs, and America’s coal ash based resources show promise to become that source.
Brian Anderson
NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., will highlight NETL-supported projects to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), technologies to capture and store it safely, and processes to make value-added products from the carbon waste stream during an address to the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on Wednesday, March 10, beginning at 10 a.m. Anderson, officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, representatives from the energy industry and others will present updates on the deployment of CO2 management and mitigation technologies. “It will be my pleasure to share the work undertaken by the Lab and its partners to make carbon capture, utilization and storage a widely available, cost-effective and rapidly scalable solution to meet our goals for a carbon emission-free electricity sector no later than 2035 and economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050,” Anderson said.
Team 1 from North Allegheny Cyber Academy, located in Wexford, Pennsylvania, claimed victory at the 30th annual Western Pennsylvania Regional Science Bowl (WPASB) middle school competition, organized and sponsored by NETL. The event was held March 6, 2021, in a virtual format. Twenty-two teams from 13 school districts from across the state participated in the competition. The WPASB tested students’ knowledge of math and science with preliminary and elimination competition rounds. High school teams competed Saturday, Feb. 27. Coming in at second, third and fourth place in the middle school competition were Jefferson Middle School (Mt. Lebanon), North Allegheny Cyber Academy Team 2 (Wexford) and Marshall Middle School (Wexford), respectively.