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Oil and gas producers will benefit from NETL’s aptitude as its researchers share their expertise regarding water and the Marcellus Shale during the upcoming Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA) Waste and Water Technical Session. Scheduled for Aug. 19, the Water and Waste Management Training Session comes as part of PIOGA’s Technical Seminar Series which will be held in a virtual format due to COVID-19. NETL’s presentations will provide attendees with information that can improve the outcomes of their production operations.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE), NETL and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) are partnering through an interagency agreement that establishes a job-training program to help create a high-tech workforce with advanced welding skills to install and service superalloy components in next-generation fossil-fueled power plants and meet the demand for welders with similar skills in the automotive and aerospace industries. The agreement, signed on Aug. 5, 2020, transferred $500,000 from DOE’s Office of FE to ARC. NETL will manage the program in partnership with ARC, the federal economic development agency that serves West Virginia and portions of 12 other states in Appalachia. Those enrolled in the program will learn advanced techniques in several areas, including the use of gas tungsten arc welding and technologies for joining cobalt- and nickel-based superalloys in power plants that operate at extreme temperatures and pressure levels. Other training will focus on robotics and advanced manufacturing skills to prepare workers for long careers in growing or emerging industries.
The 2020 Virtual Integrated Project Review Meeting, a series of free virtual sessions organized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL, will begin Monday, Aug. 17, with CCUS Integrated Projects, a three-day conference on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), and will continue into the fall with sessions highlighting technologies for efficient and cleaner uses of fossil energy resources and value-added products. Over a 12-week period, projects from several DOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE) portfolios, including Crosscutting Technologies, Rare Earth Elements, Advanced Energy Systems, Carbon Capture, Carbon Storage and Carbon Utilization, and Oil and Natural Gas Research will be reviewed. Sessions will feature leading scientists and engineers as they discuss how research and development activities sponsored by DOE FE are advancing transformative science and technologies to support the efficient and environmentally sound use of fossil fuels.
In an NETL-supported project with Virginia Tech, researchers developed a safe and  efficient processing technology that can extract and concentrate rare earth elements (REE) from coal refuse material already found throughout the Appalachian region, namely in shales and clays. The new process opens the door to future commercialization, as it decreases the size and cost of needed systems. The technologies involved in this process leveraged simple ion-exchange leaching techniques currently used by industry. The Virginia Tech team focused on modified leaching lixiviants, a novel liquid material, instead of acids commonly used to concentrate and extract REEs. Lixiviants are liquid media used in hydrometallurgy to selectively extract the desired metal from the ore or mineral. It assists in rapid and complete leaching, in this case extracting valuable REEs from coal refuse.
Students from all around the country demonstrated their research prowess during the Department of Energy’s 25th Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) summer internship program via virtual conference throughout the week of Aug. 3-7, 2020. The MLEF Technical Forum provided an opportunity for the participants to share their research, outcomes, and what they learned collaborating with their mentors and research advisors throughout their nine-week internship. NETL hosted 29 Mickey Leland fellows this year, representing 26 colleges and universities from 16 states, with two participants from Puerto Rico.
FOA Logo
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL have selected one additional project to receive approximately $1.5 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development under the second closing of funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002001.000001, Crosscutting Research for Coal-Fueled Power Plants. The selection of this project supports the Water Security Grand Challenge, a White House initiated, DOE-led framework to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water. This project directly supports the third goal of this challenge: reducing the freshwater use intensity associated with existing and new thermoelectric power generation.
A Rotating Detonation Engine operating at the Air Force Research Laboratory.
NETL’s water-cooled Rotating Detonation Engine installed in the Lab’s High Pressure Combustion Test Facility in Morgantown, W.Va. By partnering with a host of federal agencies including NASA, NETL’s rotating detonation engine (RDE) technology development can proceed with greater effectiveness and efficiency, potentially speeding up real-world applications of the engines.
The IDAES Integrated Platform team includes top-tier researchers from around the world employed at labs and universities throughout the nation working in concert with NETL (photo captured prior to March 2020).
As NETL strives to address some of the world’s greatest challenges to deliver reliable and affordable energy supplies, it uses tools such as the IDAES Integrated Platform and relies on the talent and expertise of its world-class researchers. NETL’s Institute for the Design of Advanced Energy Systems (IDAES) seeks to be the premier resource for the identification, synthesis, optimization, and analysis of innovative advanced energy systems at scales ranging from materials to process to system to market. The IDAES Integrated Platform supports the design and optimization of innovative new processes that go beyond current equipment and process constraints. Led by NETL’s Senior Fellow for Process Systems Engineering and Analysis, David Miller, the minds behind the development of IDAES include NETL’s Anthony Burgard, John Eslick, Andrew Lee, Miguel Zamarripa, Chinedu Okoli and Jaffer Ghouse, among others.
Carbon X
Following up on its success and interest previously in the summer, NETL will feature top-tier researchers and industry professionals in “Downstream Opportunities and Advancements,” the second entry in the Lab’s CarbonX Virtual Series. Scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, from 2:00–3:30 p.m. ET, this webinar will highlight what happens when the best and brightest in America’s energy industries and its national laboratories focus their assets in the same direction. “Downstream Opportunities and Advancements” will feature success stories from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and their respective partners, Cimarex and SoCalGas. The webinar will focus on the value of industry-lab collaborations focused on downstream technologies that are reducing the cost — and improving the performance — of many energy applications. The webinar will also feature a prominent executive consultant from professional services network Deloitte who will share valuable information about the current direction of the chemical industry under the umbrella of a circular economy. Scheduled speakers for the event are:
Large Pipe
A public-private research effort led by NETL with Oceanit Laboratories Inc. has produced an ultra-thin surface treatment that could significantly improve the reliability of the nation’s extensive energy pipeline network by reducing corrosion and surface friction on pipe walls. More than 2.5 million miles of pipeline deliver natural gas and oil to homes, businesses and industries across the United States. Taking steps to ensure safety as the network ages and prevent disruptions in the flow of critical energy resources was the focus of the collaborative effort.