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NETL Project Review Sessions Highlight Innovations for a Sustainable Energy Future

NETL’s 2021 Crosscutting Research and Advanced Energy Systems Project Review Meeting continues through May with seven days of presentations showcasing innovations to enhance the efficiency and reliability of electricity production and increase domestic supplies of rare earth elements (REEs).

During more than 80 virtual sessions between May 17 and May 26, 2021, engineers and scientists working on NETL-supported projects will also discuss research driving technologies to lower water use in energy production and advancing the use of sensors and controls to gain pivotal insights into optimizing power plant performance.

Additional sessions will explore projects devoted to simulation-based engineering to improve efficiencies and lower costs. The month will conclude with two days focusing on extracting, separating and recovering REEs and critical minerals (CMs), which are needed for a wide variety of applications such as batteries for electric cars, magnets for wind turbines and materials for solar cells. Technologies highlighted within this session pave the way toward a net-zero emissions energy economy by 2050.

All sessions are free and open to all interested parties, but registration is required for attendance. Registration information, schedules and agendas for all sessions are posted on the NETL website.

Program sessions set for May 17 to May 26 are:

  • Crosscutting Research Water Management, Monday, May 17. Water recovery from cooling tower plumes and wastewater recycling using a hygroscopic cooling system are among the projects to be discussed. Work underway to improve condenser performance and heat transfer in steam power plants rounds out the day’s agenda.
  • Crosscutting Research Sensors & Controls, Tuesday, May 18, and Wednesday, May 19. Projects to be explored on May 18 will address advanced sensors and controls for fossil energy power generation, cyber-physical systems, artificial intelligence for improved plant operation and performance, robotics for non-destructive evaluation and repair, quantum technologies for energy systems, and magnetohydrodynamic concepts for future power generation.

Featured projects on May 19 will review advanced manufacturing and embedded sensor technologies, monitoring and diagnostics for gas turbine application, as well as blockchain and distributed ledger technologies for enhanced cybersecurity.

  • Rare Earth Elements and Critical Minerals, Tuesday, May 25, and Wednesday, May 26. On the morning of May 25, researchers from various universities and the business sector will begin by discussing projects devoted to small pilot-scale REE and CM conventional separation systems. In the afternoon and on May 26, additional presentations from national laboratory researchers will be made discussing innovative prospecting, field and process sensors, and novel techniques for recovery of REEs and CMs from domestic sources.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory develops advanced technologies that provide clean energy while safeguarding the environment. NETL’s work supports DOE’s mission to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy and environmental challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.