Three technologies advanced by the Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), in collaboration with the laboratory’s strategic partners, have been recognized by R&D Magazine as among the 100 most technologically significant products introduced into the commercial marketplace within the past year.
The award-winning technologies reflect NETL’s focus on science and technology innovations that seek to discover, integrate, and mature technologies that enhance the nation’s energy security and protect the environment for future generations.
The following technologies were recognized with R&D 100 Awards:
Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative (CCSI) Toolset—The CCSI Toolset is the only suite of computational tools and models specifically tailored to help maximize learning and reduce risk during the scale-up process for carbon-capture technologies. This is critically important because carbon-capture pilot projects represent an expensive, limited opportunity to collect the data necessary to move to commercial scale. Each module in the toolset is specifically tailored to properly guide experimental and pilot-scale testing to acquire important data. By maximizing the learning during such pilot projects, the CCSI Toolset can help reduce the timeline for subsequent commercialization and enable greater investment confidence.
Computationally Optimized Heat Treatment of Metal Alloys—Conventional processes for homogenizing metal alloys are trial-and-error in their approach, resulting in increased process cost and limits to the possible paths that may be explored. NETL’s Computationally Optimized Homogenization Heat Treatment Process provides an easy method to optimize heat treatment to achieve the desired degree of homogenization with a minimum of furnace time. The primary application for this technology is for alloys that are exposed to extreme environments, including heat-resistant alloys or those needing corrosion/oxidation resistance. A properly homogenized alloy will not only perform better but will also have an extended lifecycle.
HVAC Load Reduction Technology for Commercial Buildings—Leveraging the laboratory’s proven expertise in sorbent technology development, NETL partnered with enVerid Systems to create unique multi-functional sorbents that can capture carbon dioxide (CO2) and volatile organic compounds at ambient temperatures and which regenerate below 60 degrees Celsius. With these new sorbents, enVerid was able to develop its HVAC load reduction (HLR) technology, which uses a module connected into new or existing HVAC systems to scrub the air of dangerous indoor air contaminants. The technology, already commercially deployed in many buildings, significantly reduces energy use and lowers costs.
The R&D 100 Awards, given annually by R&D Magazine, have become known as the “Oscars of Invention” and celebrate the top technology products of the year. Many within industry, government laboratories, and academia regard R&D 100 Awards as instrumental in identifying state-of-the art technologies and helping to move innovative science into the public marketplace.
Since their introduction in 1963, the R&D 100 Awards have identified game-changing technologies across a diverse range of scientific disciplines including telecommunications, biotechnology, software, high-energy physics, diagnostics, and manufacturing. Winning technologies that have moved into the public sector included the digital wristwatch, antilock brakes, the automated teller machine, the halogen lamp, the fax machine, the NicoDerm anti-smoking patch, and HDTV.
This year marks the 54th year of R&D Magazine’s R&D 100 Awards. Winners were recognized at the R&D 100 Awards Banquet on November 3, 2016, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, DC.