by Brian Anderson, Ph.D.
We recently had the honor of sharing NETL’s successes from 2019 with Congressional guests and some of our university partners as we celebrated our third-annual Science & Technology Accomplishments Session, held Feb. 20 at our Pittsburgh site. This year, we showcased 42 achievements during an interactive poster session that highlighted our vital work to ensure affordable, reliable energy for all Americans.
Our team takes great pride in the Lab’s service to the nation and the benefit we provide by developing technology solutions to America’s energy challenges. The accomplishments — made possible through the dedication of NETL’s talented researchers and the expertise of project partners across the nation— focused on key research priorities to promote safe, reliable and affordable energy nationwide.
Here are just a few examples.
The Lab’s award-winning laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy probe for use in harsh, remote environments is simplifying and improving measurement and analysis for a range of energy applications. The sensor is one technology in our research portfolio aimed at improving the performance, reliability, and efficiency of the existing coal-fired fleet.
NETL’s new, patented technique for manipulating and engineering the permeability of soft magnetic cores is essential to America’s electricity delivery system. The technology demonstrates widespread application for high power density and great efficiency power conversion technologies and is one technology in our research portfolio aimed at advancing the next generation of modular, highly efficient, and flexible coal-fired power.
In our work to reduce the cost of captured carbon and putting it to work for America is the Brine Extraction Storage Test field project, conducted in collaboration with university partners, that is advancing capabilities in managing storage reservoirs and treating extracted brine water. The research is contributing toward ensuring safe, economical, long-term storage of carbon dioxide in the subsurface.
NETL researchers and university partners successfully used coal-based nanomaterials to fabricate a computer memory device, facility new commercialization opportunities for coal in high-tech industries. This project represents one of several efforts designed to create new jobs, products and markets for coal.
Also in 2019, NETL and several collaborators took critical steps toward establishing a long-term methane hydrate production test site on the North Slope of Alaska. The site represents the only location in the world where gas hydrate recoverability can be viably tested and monitored over desired time frames and is one example of the Lab’s work toward leveraging big data and machine learning to unlock our nation’s vast unconventional oil and natural gas resources.
It would require many more pages to convey the full list of impressive accomplishments presented at the event; however, I invite all our readers to learn more about our research successes by viewing the 2019 S&T Accomplishments booklet, available here: https://www.netl.doe.gov/accomplishments/2019.
I am extremely proud of the achievements presented at our recent event, and I look forward with great enthusiasm to the successes we’ll be presenting in the future that will enhance our nation’s energy foundation and protect the environment for future generations.