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S and T Accomplishments
NETL Celebrates 2019 Achievements

NETL researchers leverage the Lab’s world-class capabilities and facilities each day to pursue innovative science and technology (S&T) advances that contribute to technological solutions for America’s energy challenges. The Lab recently celebrated more than 30 notable 2019 S&T accomplishments with an interactive poster session focused on key research priorities that promote safe, reliable and affordable energy nationwide.

NETL welcomed Congressional guests and some of its university partners to the Feb. 20 event at the Pittsburgh site.

“Fossil energy has supported our nation’s prosperity and economic advancement for generations. To continue to rely on clean, abundant energy requires innovative technology solutions that have a real impact on our energy security and, ultimately, on people’s lives,” NETL Director Brian J. Anderson said. “Today, we’re celebrating exceptional achievements that showcase the progress NETL is making in our important mission to discover, integrate and mature technology solutions that enhance the nation’s energy foundation and protect the environment for future generations.”

A broad range of NETL researchers shared their work at the S&T Accomplishments Session, which demonstrated how the Lab’s unique facilities and core science and engineering capabilities are being applied to solve the nation’s most pressing fossil energy challenges. These include:

  • Improving the performance, reliability and efficiency of the existing coal-fired power fleet.
  • Advancing the next generation of modular, highly efficient and flexible coal-fired power plants.
  • Reducing the cost of captured carbon and putting it to work for America.
  • Creating new jobs, products and markets for coal.
  • Leveraging big data and machine learning to unlock the nation’s vast unconventional oil and gas reserves.

“NETL is working to solve these complex challenges through innovative research at our laboratory and with our partners, while also moving them into the market. Our Lab is making an impact,” Anderson said.

The highlighted achievements support the Administration’s Energy Independence Policy and its Rebuilding Infrastructure in America Initiative, both of which are intended to strengthen our economy, make the nation more globally competitive, reduce the cost of goods and services for American families, and enable Americans to build their lives supported by the best infrastructure in the world.  For instance:

  • An NETL-managed project at Virginia Tech advanced a harsh environment sensor system — from concept to industrial validation — that enables real-time, accurate and reliable temperature monitoring within a power plant’s boiler system, reducing operating costs and improving safety through greater operational control. The technology represents a breakthrough in ultra-high temperature sensing.
  • A patented early kick detection system that uses downhole measurements to provide data on the wellbore condition of onshore and offshore subsurface drilling operations. The technology has the potential to improve safety, reduce operational costs and reduce the likelihood of a loss-control event during drilling operations.
  • Innovative research that uses microwaves and novel catalyst compositions to provide groundbreaking solutions to carbon dioxide utilization challenges.
  • Computer memory devices that use coal-based nanomaterials. Developed in partnership with the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, the work is facilitating new commercialization opportunities for coal in high-tech industries.