News Releases

NETL’s Energy Conversion Research Readies Solutions for Energy Challenges
May 22, 2017
With research laboratories located in the heart of regions rich in fossil energy resources, NETL is on a mission to discover, integrate, and mature technology solutions to enhance the nation’s energy foundation and protect the environment for future generations. The Lab is leading efforts to resolve the environmental, supply, and reliability constraints of using America’s abundant fossil fuel resources—coal, natural gas, and oil. Energy conversion engineering is one of the Lab’s core competencies, specializing in technologies that enable low-carbon power production while optimizing environmental performance, water use, efficiency, and waste minimization.

More Power, Fewer Emissions: NETL’s Cutting-Edge Energy Conversion Technologies
May 15, 2017
Increasing demands for power coupled with environmental concerns are driving the development of more efficient energy conversion technologies that can produce more energy from cheap and abundant fossil fuels while reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Building upon a history of success and a tradition of innovation, NETL’s energy conversion engineering research has produced several transformational technologies that can burn fossil fuels at very high efficiencies to generate electricity, and capture CO2 emissions.

Frozen Heat: Exploring the Potential of Natural Gas Hydrates
May 12, 2017
Everyone hears about the vastness of our more traditional fossil fuel resources. But one potential source of fossil energy could exceed the energy content of all other known fossil fuels combined—and that’s natural gas hydrate.

Dr. Paul Ohodnicki Selected as a Finalist for a Prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal
May 09, 2017
NETL researcher Dr. Paul Ohodnicki has been named a finalist for a prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal in the Promising Innovations category. The Service to America Medals, known as the Sammies, are the premier awards dedicated to recognizing America’s best in government service. The finalists will be honored May 9 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as part of Public Service Recognition Week.

NETL’s Energy Conversion Engineering Targets Innovations for Increasing Power Generation While Using Less Fuel with Fewer Emissions
May 08, 2017
An energy-hungry world requires innovative approaches to meet the increasing needs of homes, hospitals, schools and businesses, military installations and industries—the kinds of innovative approaches that NETL pursues daily under the research banner of one of its major core competencies known as energy conversion engineering.

Small Businesses Vital to NETL’s Mission Success
May 02, 2017
Whether putting a new roof on a building or keeping computers running, you will find small business professionals doing the work at the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This Department of Energy facility is one of many in the nation that utilizes the goods and services of small businesses to support its mission. National Small Business Week, April 30-May 6, offers an opportunity to highlight their contributions.

Increased Oil and Natural Gas Production Could Result from Data on Low Frequency Tremors Discovered by NETL During Hydraulic Fracturing
April 25, 2017
When researchers from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) set up new monitoring capabilities at active Marcellus Shale hydraulic fracturing sites in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to better understand seismic activity, they discovered that low frequency tremors occur, which they believe could be useful to optimize oil and natural gas production from unconventional shale.

Novel Oil-Spill Recovery Process Demonstrates Feasibility under Simulated Artic Conditions
April 24, 2017
NETL researchers have successfully demonstrated a new oil-spill recovery process under simulated Arctic conditions. The work, which is being conducted under a grant awarded to NETL by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement, is focused on verifying that this process can have real-world applications for oil recovery in a harsh Arctic environment.

Revolutionizing the Art of Metal Fabrication
April 18, 2017
NETL metallurgists have developed a new process that allows operators to digitally monitor arc location during vacuum arc remelting, a step in crafting metal alloys that’s akin to tempering chocolate. The patented, award-winning process has been licensed to an Oregon company that’s further developing it for commercial deployment to the specialty metals industry.

The Technology Commercialization Fund Supports NETL’s SOFC Nanofabrication Process!
April 17, 2017
Fuel cell technology is a unique form of energy creation—an efficient, quiet, and clean method of transforming an energy source (such as propane, diesel, or natural gas) into electricity.

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Marks Opening of Petra Nova, World’s Largest Post-combustion Carbon Capture Project
April 13, 2017
Secretary of Energy Rick Perry took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to mark the opening of Petra Nova, the world’s largest post-combustion carbon capture project, which was completed on-schedule and on-budget. The large-scale demonstration project, located at the W.A. Parish power plant in Thompsons, Texas, is a joint venture between NRG Energy (NRG) and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation (JX).

NETL’s Microstructural Explorations Inside Fuel Cells Could Lead to Increased Durability and Economical Use of Fossil Fuels
April 10, 2017
Researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) are searching for answers to create SOFCs that can effectively operate at lower temperatures with a longer life-span by taking a deep look inside fuel cells on a microstructural level.

DOE Announces Major Milestone Reached for Illinois Industrial CCS Project
April 10, 2017
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today that the Illinois Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) project in Decatur, Illinois, has begun operation by injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) into a large saline reservoir.  This project received a $141 million investment from DOE, matched by over $66 million in private-sector cost share.

Forging a Clean Energy Future with Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
April 03, 2017
In the 1960s, when humans were taking their first grand leaps into outer space, NASA needed a clean reliable way to supply electricity to its spacecraft. The answer to the problem was fuel cell technology. NASA’s manned space flights marked the first commercial use of the fuel cell, and they have been providing electrical power for space missions—and more down-to-earth applications—for more than 40 years. So, what’s so great about a fuel cell? Unlike renewable energy sources like solar or wind, fuel cells can run in any environment quietly and efficiently. They have near-zero emissions, and, unlike batteries, which are simply energy storage devices, fuel cells can run continuously as long as fuel is provided. In certain configurations, fuel cells can even run in reverse, generating hydrogen that can then be used as fuel for continuous operation.

More Efficient Method of Water Desalination Advanced in NETL-Managed Project
March 29, 2017
In an NETL-managed project, GE Global Research has advanced a method to lower the energy requirement and cut the cost of recovering usable water from high-salinity brines. The new technology offers a way to turn a potential waste product into a usable source of water and minerals.

NETL-University of Kentucky Project Closes in on Coal-to-Liquids Process for Cleaner Transportation Fuels
March 27, 2017
With an eye toward the development of cleaner coal-derived liquid fuels that can someday power cars, trucks, tanks, and even jets, the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has been supporting researchers at the University of Kentucky as they close in on an innovation that could someday advance the state of the art for transportation fuels production.

Functional Materials Research at NETL
March 16, 2017
Just as the newest jet aircraft technologies require cutting edge innovations like carbon-fiber composites, polymers, and avionics to make them fly, the next generation of high efficiency and environmentally sound energy-producing technologies demand a very specific set of functional materials to make them capable of answering the nation’s increasing energy needs.

NETL Research Team Wins Carnegie Science Award
March 15, 2017
A research team at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has been honored with a Carnegie Science Award in recognition of the ways their work has serviced manufacturing and materials science in the western Pennsylvanian area.

NETL’s Metallurgical Expertise Reaches New Heights
March 13, 2017
Extreme environments are everywhere. From the pressures of the ultradeep ocean to the inferno heat of a power plant, harsh conditions make scientific ingenuity a necessity. To operate technology in extreme environments, new materials that can withstand those environments need to be created. Scientists at NETL are known for their ability to do just that.

NETL Examines Foamed Cement for Safer Recovery of Oil and Gas around the World
March 01, 2017
What does a CT scanner have to do with safer drilling operations? The answer may surprise you. Researchers at NETL are combining their unparalleled expertise with unexpected tools like CT scanners to investigate a material that prevents leaks and spills during oil and gas drilling operations—foamed cement.

Department of Energy Invests $5.9 Million in Projects to Advance Novel CO2 Utilization Strategies
February 22, 2017
The U.S. Energy Department’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has selected seven projects to receive $5.9 million to focus on novel ways to use carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from coal-fired power plants.  In addition to federal funding, each project will also include non-federal cost share of at least 20 percent.

Commercialization Success Recognized with Excellence in Technology Transfer Award
February 21, 2017
A technology developed by researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) has been recognized with a prestigious Excellence in Technology Transfer Award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC). The award, presented annually, recognizes outstanding work by laboratory employees in transferring technology developed in federal laboratories to the commercial marketplace.

NETL Study Sheds Light on Methane Emissions
February 07, 2017
A 2-year study by analysts at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), in which they synthesized new methane emission data from a series of ground-based field measurements, shows that 1.7 percent of the methane in the U.S. natural gas supply chain is emitted between extraction and delivery. Identifying the magnitude and sources of methane emissions will allow producers to prioritize opportunities to reduce emissions of the potent greenhouse gas. Results of the study have been published in the Journal of Cleaner Production.

The Power of Plasma: Higher Efficiency without Moving Parts
February 01, 2017

Inside a new NETL laboratory, researchers are firing up a device that may one day enable unprecedented power generation performance without any moving parts. Jetting out of the nozzle of a high-velocity oxyfuel torch, a stream of plasma glows like a light-saber poised for combat. But this technology is designed to battle the low efficiencies that plague many of today’s energy conversion systems, rather than galactic evil-doers.


Coal Ash Recovery Could Pump the Domestic Rare Earth Metals Supply
January 24, 2017
Currently REEs are used in catalysts, cell phones, hard drives, hybrid engines, lasers, magnets, medical devices, televisions and other applications.

NETL Researcher Alexandra Hakala To Receive U.S. Government’s Highest Honor for Early Career Research Scientists
January 19, 2017

Dr. Alexandra Hakala, a geochemist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), has been named as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)—the highest honor the U.S. government can bestow on scientists or engineers in the early stages of their research careers.


U.S. Energy and Employment Report
January 18, 2017

The U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) is the agency’s annual analysis of how changes in America’s energy profile are affecting national employment in multiple energy sectors.


Smart Sensing Technology Moving Toward Commercialization
January 18, 2017
Sensing technology developed for gas turbines by the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) as part of a cooperative agreement with the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is advancing toward commercial use. The technology, called Additive Topology Optimized Manufacturing with embedded Sensing (ATOMeS), seamlessly integrates wireless sensors into aero- and ground-based turbine engine components using additive manufacturing—a process for building objects by adding layer upon layer of material, similar to 3D printing, but on an industrial scale using a combination of metals and ceramics.

Petra Nova, World’s Largest Post-Combustion Carbon-Capture Project, Begins Commercial Operation
January 11, 2017

The Petra Nova project, the world’s largest post-combustion carbon-capture system, has begun commercial operation at the W. A. Parish Plant in Texas. The project, which receives project-management support from NETL, demonstrates how carbon-capture technologies can support the flexibility and sustainability of fossil fuels at a commercial scale.

Second Installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review Released
January 10, 2017

On January 6, 2017, the Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force released the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), titled “Transforming the Nation’s Electricity System.” The second installment (QER 1.2) finds the electricity system is a critical and essential national asset, and it is a strategic imperative to protect and enhance the value of the electricity system through modernization and transformation.


NETL Group Combines Fossil Energy Research with Studies of Geothermal Energy Potential in Appalachia
January 04, 2017
For more than a century, fossil energy innovations have dominated research at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). Now a group of NETL researchers are building on that expertise to increase the world’s body of knowledge on how to integrate fossil fuel energy systems with renewable energy technologies—knowledge that could end up powering commercial office complexes and military installations with heat from deep within the earth.

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