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Regional Initiatives Are Helping States Leverage the Environmental and Economic Benefits of CCUS, Delivering Good-Paying Local Jobs The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $20 million in funding to four projects working to accelerate the regional deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). The projects, representing all four corners of the country, are referred to as DOE’s Regional Initiatives to Accelerate CCUS Deployment—an initiative designed to identify and address regional storage and transportation challenges facing the commercial deployment of CCUS. Expanding the deployment of CCUS will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial sources and is a crucial component to achieving the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
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Learn about the latest developments in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)/NETL Carbon Capture Program in this month’s edition of the Carbon Capture Newsletter. The DOE/NETL Carbon Capture Program is developing the next generation of advanced carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technologies that can provide step-change reductions in both cost and energy requirements as compared to currently available technologies. The Carbon Capture Program focuses on the broad portfolio of projects, including post- and pre-combustion capture to reduce carbon emissions across a wide spectrum of industries. Other focus areas include carbon-based power generation and negative emissions technologies such as direct capture of CO2 from the atmosphere and bioenergy with carbon capture. Information featured in this month’s edition includes:
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NETL will leverage its wide range of hydrogen research and development (R&D) capabilities to support a collaborative clean hydrogen production and utilization project recently awarded $20 million in federal funding by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). NETL will join a consortium led by PNW Hydrogen LLC to produce clean hydrogen from nuclear power at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Phoenix, Arizona. Six tonnes of stored hydrogen will be used to produce approximately 200 megawatt-hours of electricity during times of high demand, and may be also used to make chemicals and other fuels. The project will provide insights about integrating nuclear energy with hydrogen production technologies and inform future clean hydrogen production deployments at scale. “We look forward to supporting this clean hydrogen project and the decarbonization pathways that it could open,” said NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D. “Our Lab has the unique facilities, and our researchers have broad expertise to help this team achieve success.”
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NETL’s Microwave Ammonia Synthesis (MAS) process is a physics and chemistry trailblazer with the potential to meet the needs of the economy and lower the nation’s carbon footprint in chemicals production. One of the most widely used chemicals compounds worldwide, ammonia is largely used in the fertilizer market. Liquid ammonia also possesses all the desired properties for carbon neutral liquid fuels, which allow power generation without carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, making it a valuable commodity for sustainable energy. Because ammonia is a hydrogen carrier it is expected to play an increased role in hydrogen-powered systems as efforts to decarbonize the energy sector ramp up in coming years. For more than a century, the Haber-Bosch process has been the standard method to produce ammonia in bulk. However, this process functions at high pressures and temperatures and requires a constant supply of energy, which equates to higher operational costs and increased emissions of CO2.
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NETL research scientist Nor Farida Harun, Ph.D., received a Special Recognition Award for her work toward developing a smart electrical grid during the Women of Color (WOC) in STEM Conference — Digital Twin Experience (DTX), held in a virtual setting Oct. 7-9. The theme for WOC DTX 2021, “Reset to Rise: It’s a New Day!”, reflected the global push to overcome the challenges of 2021 and move forward. For more than two decades, awards presented at this leading conference served the dual purpose of showcasing outstanding achievements in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and highlighting the significant barriers for women in the workforce. Recognition is more critical than ever as representation of women among the STEM occupational clusters has not changed markedly since 2016.
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NETL leadership and experts, including NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., joined representatives from 11 universities as they gathered virtually to discuss project successes during the 2021 University Coalition for Fossil Energy Research (UCFER) Annual Technical Review Meeting this week. NETL Deputy Director and Chief Technology Officer Sean Plasynski, Ph.D., kicked off the second day of the meeting with opening remarks, proceeded by an administrative update from UCFER DOE Project Officer Omer Bakshi. “UCFER has provided significant results since its inception six years ago,” Bakshi said. “To date, 18 of the 43 funded projects have been completed, and 25 are ongoing. The presentations we saw this week confirmed that the research of our partner universities will continue to lead to important breakthroughs for the decarbonization of the economy.”
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Point-Source Carbon Capture Can Filter At Least 95% of Emissions from Natural Gas and Industrial Operations, Help Meet Biden Administration Climate Goals  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $45 million in funding for 12 projects to advance point-source carbon capture and storage technologies that can capture at least 95% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated from natural gas power and industrial facilities that produce commodities like cement and steel. These research and development, front-end engineering design and engineering-scale projects are a part of DOE’s efforts to deploy a portfolio of innovative solutions to help achieve the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and a 100% clean electricity sector by 2035.
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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) announced nearly $7 million in funding for seven projects that will develop coal-based filaments or resins for additive manufacturing and advance research and development (R&D) of coal-derived graphite. This investment supports the development of new and safe uses for coal-wastes, which in turn will spur the creation of good-paying jobs in frontline communities as the nation transitions to 100 percent clean electricity by 2035. In order to extract the full economic value from coal wastes in a sustainable way, innovation is needed. The National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL) Carbon Ore Processing Program seeks to address and deliver solutions to this challenge by supporting novel technologies that produce valuable products from coal waste-derived sources through laboratory- and pilot-scale R&D.
Several collaborative projects are under way at #NETL and its partner labs to develop advanced air separation technologies that can produce bulk oxygen that is needed to make clean hydrogen fuel.
NETL researchers, and project partners at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory, are developing advanced air separation technologies that produce oxygen, a valuable gas that can be used to make hydrogen fuel, a much-needed commodity for transitioning to a clean power sector.  Air separation technologies separate atmospheric air into its primary components, nitrogen and oxygen, which can be used for valuable commercial supplies, industrial applications, manufacturing and more.  The projects NETL and its collaborators are advancing are actively addressing climate change by reducing CO2 emissions via clean hydrogen generation in oxygen-blown, gasification-based plants with carbon capture and storage.  Clean hydrogen can be generated from biomass and coal wastes in this manner with zero carbon emissions. The hydrogen can be used as a clean fuel in turbine applications. 
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NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., will welcome representatives from 11 universities for the virtual 2021 University Coalition for Fossil Energy Research (UCFER) Annual Technical Review Meeting Oct. 5-6, 2021. “Partnerships like UCFER help the Lab leverage its connections, resources and expertise to develop critical carbon management technologies,” Anderson said. “The dedication of our University partners across UCFER to our mission is an inspiration when we see the innovations from see the best and brightest minds from universities across the country.” During the two-day event, researchers for selected active projects will give virtual presentations on technologies spanning topics that will include carbon capture, carbon storage, crosscutting research, carbon ore processing, fuel cell technologies, gasification systems, coal and coal-biomass to liquids, natural gas technologies, and rare earth elements.