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The model will allow for more robust and consistent analyses to inform decision makers and stakeholders.
A new, open-source computer model to quantify baseline life cycle impacts of electricity consumption in the United States is allowing for more robust and consistent analyses to inform decision makers and stakeholders. Developed through a collaboration among NETL, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the model is transparent and multifunctional for users. The electricity and power generation sector in the U.S. is experiencing a state of rapid transformation via adoption of natural gas-fired power plants and deeper penetration of renewables into the market as older power-generation systems such as nuclear and legacy coal plants are gradually phased out.
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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL announced selection of four projects for cost-shared research and development under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA), DE-FOA-0002180, Design Development and System Integration Design Studies for Coal FIRST Concepts. When fully negotiated and awarded, it is estimated that approximately $80 million in federal funding will be provided to these projects. DOE’s early stage research for the Coal FIRST  Initiative supports the development of 21st century electricity and hydrogen energy plants that have net-zero carbon emissions. These plants will be fueled by coal, natural gas, biomass, and waste plastics and incorporate carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies.
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The final week of the 2020 Virtual Integrated Project Review Meeting, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL, will explore the accomplishments and upcoming work to be undertaken by two NETL-led programs — the National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP) and the Science-informed Machine Learning for Accelerating Real-Time Decisions in Subsurface Applications (SMART) Initiative.  A full slate of presentations and updates on the SMART Initiative will be held Monday, Nov. 2, and Tuesday, Nov. 3. Click here to review the SMART Initiative Annual Review Meeting agenda and to obtain online registration and WebEx instructions. The NRAP Technical Meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 4, and Thursday, Nov. 5, will feature an array of speakers who will discuss the development of tools and approaches for effective risk management of carbon storage sites. Click here to review the agenda for the NRAP sessions and to obtain online registration and WebEx instructions. Registration is free for all SMART Initiative and NRAP sessions.
The predictive model, developed as part of DOE’s fundamental shale research, now benefits more than 30 operators in the oil and natural gas industries.
A team of national laboratories, led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) with support from the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and Stanford Linear Accelerator Laboratory, is collaborating in a multi-scale modeling project that resulted in an approach that significantly improves the prediction of hydraulic fracture propagation. The results and modeling approach from the multi-lab project titled “A New Framework for Microscopic to Reservoir-Scale Simulation of Hydraulic Fracturing and Production: Testing with Comprehensive Data from Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site (HFTS) and Other Hydraulic Fracturing Field Test Sites” have since been adopted by numerous oil and natural gas operators following the publication by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).
recycle carbon dioxide
NETL researchers such as Dominic Alfonso are using advanced computational tools to repurpose carbon dioxide (CO2) from a waste product into chemical building blocks to manufacture fuels and a range of high-value items. The work undertaken by Alfonso and other members of NETL’s Computational Materials and Engineering Team focuses on recycling CO2 generated by fossil energy plants and other industrial sources into chemicals, alcohols, acids and syngas, which are used to manufacture fuels, polymers and fertilizer. “For more than a century, we have used fossil fuels to produce our electricity and for a variety of other purposes. However, when we extract energy from fossil fuels, we create CO2, the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities,” Alfonso said. “We can address this issue by using CO2 from factories and power plants as a chemical feedstock. Waste CO2 emissions can become something you can recycle into valuable products, providing a strong financial incentive to reduce the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere,” he added.
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NETL and multination technology conglomerate Raytheon Technologies Research Center (RTRC) will discuss opportunities for technical collaboration during an upcoming virtual meeting highlighting the Lab’s research in several areas. Scheduled for Oct. 26-28, the virtual meeting will feature sessions on various topics such as programs within the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy, Hydrogen and Sustainability, Advanced Power Generation and Advanced Energy Management. DOE supports research which promotes large-scale, affordable hydrogen (H2) or high H2 syngas production from coal with near-zero environmental emissions, as required for use of the H2 or syngas in a variety of uses including power production with carbon capture or fuels production.
Carbon X
With topics ranging from artificial intelligence and machine learning to commercialization pathways for new innovations and projections of the future for the natural gas industry, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) InnovationXLab CarbonX Summit hosted by NETL showcased DOE technologies and the national laboratories’ capabilities at the heart of the domestic energy economy. The second day of the CarbonX Summit, featuring  the “Carbon in the Digital Era: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning” panel, brought together representatives of industry, academia and DOE’s national laboratories to examine the impact of sophisticated computational technologies on future energy production and manufacturing in the United States.
Emerging technologies to extract resources from offshore reservoirs and other challenging environments, advances in the development of corrosion-resistant well components and new techniques for pipeline monitoring will be among the topics presented Oct. 26-28 at the 2020 Virtual Integrated Project Review Meeting hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL. Top researchers from DOE, NETL, other national laboratories, universities and industries will provide updates on their projects designed to extract fossil energy resources from the subsurface and transport oil and gas in an environmentally responsible manner. The week begins with an emphasis on offshore exploration. Topics to be reviewed include innovations being made to improve the reliability of well cement for extreme conditions and the use of new tools to simulate subsurface environments and enhance the understanding of meteorological and oceanographic conditions.
Carbon X
NETL and members of the nation’s energy and manufacturing industries came together Oct. 21 to commence the long-awaited Department of Energy (DOE) InnovationXLab CarbonX Summit, sharing ideas and pitching novel solutions to new challenges facing the power generation sector and economy as a whole. The central theme of this CarbonX Summit was societal use and reuse of carbon spanning from the production of energy to reduction of emissions to manufacturing of commercial goods. The entirely virtual CarbonX Summit showcased DOE technologies and the national laboratories’ capabilities at the heart of the domestic energy economy, from production to utilization to reuse. With panels including representatives of major industry players such as Chevron, Dow Chemical, Air Products and General Electric, as well as presentations from speakers including DOE Deputy Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes and DOE Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg, day one of the summit united NETL scientists and technical leaders with industry and other DOE national laboratories.
MiKyung Kang
Since joining NETL last year, computer scientist MiKyung Kang, Ph.D., has supported the Lab’s high-performance computing (HPC) environment across all three of its research facilities, empowering the Lab to continue finding new ways to fuel the nation using the abundant supply of fossil fuels in a sustainable manner. Kang grew up on South Korea’s Jeju Island, one of the world’s New 7 Wonders of Nature and well known for its beautiful sand beaches and volcanic landscape of craters and cave-like lava tubes. She earned her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in computer science and statistics from Jeju National University, inspired by the rapid changes in technology she saw growing up. New Tech, New Possibilities