Construction Begins on DOE-Sponsored Carbon-Capture Project at Kentucky Power Plant
July 21, 2014
Construction of an innovative carbon-capture pilot unit is now underway in a $19.5 million project funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The unit is being built at Kentucky Utilities’ E.W. Brown Generating Station near Harrodsburg, Ky. When completed later this year, the unit will test, at slipstream-scale, a novel system conceived by the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (UKCAER) to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the flue gas of an operating coal-fired power plant.
World’s Largest Post-Combustion Carbon Capture Project Begins Construction
July 16, 2014
Today, the Department of Energy – in partnership with NRG Energy Inc. and JX Nippon – announced that construction has begun on the first commercial-scale post-combustion carbon capture retrofit project in the U.S., the largest such project in the world. The Petra Nova Project will use this cutting edge technology to help decrease the power plant’s greenhouse gas emissions.
From Lab to Market—Reducing Mercury Emissions in U.S. Coal-Fired Power Plants
July 15, 2014
To protect the nation’s air quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued national standards in 2011 to reduce power plant emissions of mercury and other toxins. The standards were crafted largely by relying on widely available and proven controls already in use at more than half of our nation’s coal-fired power plants.
From Lab to Market—Improving Gasification Economics for Power and Chemicals Production
July 09, 2014
Gasification—the process of converting carbon-based materials such as coal into syngas, which can then be used to produce electricity, chemicals, and other products—is a promising pathway to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and provide a clean, carbon capture–ready source of energy. But gasification is a high-temperature, high-pressure process, so it can take a heavy toll on components and parts, costing operators considerable time and money.
NETL Supercomputer Puts Super Confidence in Research Results
July 03, 2014
The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) supercomputer injects speed, accuracy, and—perhaps most importantly—confidence into the complex process of simulating emerging energy technologies and new, innovative materials.
NETL Supercomputer Helps Develop Metal Alloys for Next-Generation Fossil Fuel Technologies
July 01, 2014
Many emerging technologies designed to use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently require components made of new materials that can withstand unprecedented temperatures, pressures, and corrosion levels. Developing these new materials was an arduous, time-consuming task of trial-and-error before researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) began using one of the world’s top modeling tools—the NETL supercomputer—to design and model new metal alloys.
Energy Department Project Captures and Stores more than One Million Metric Tons of CO2
June 26, 2014
Following the one year mark since the release of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) - in partnership with Air Products and Chemicals Inc. – today announced a major milestone, successfully capturing more than one million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) at the hydrogen-production facility in Port Arthur, Texas. Using an innovative technology called vacuum swing adsorption, the project captures more than 90 percent of the CO2 from the product stream of two commercial-scale steam methane reformers that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere. In addition to the secure storage, captured carbon from the project will be used to help produce additional, hard-to-access resources from existing nearby oil fields. In total, Department of Energy projects have captured and securely stored nearly 7.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to date, equivalent to taking more than 1.5 million cars off the road for a year. In just the last year since the release of the President’s Climate Action Plan, these Department-supported projects have stored approximately 2.8 metric tons.
NETL Supercomputer Helps Researchers Study Coal Gasification
June 25, 2014
Researchers at the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) are using their world-class supercomputer to learn more about the chaotic chemical reactions that occur in the coal gasification process—knowledge that can lead to cleaner, more efficient, and more economical use of coal.
NETL, Pennsylvania DEP Data-Sharing Agreement to Address State’s Abandoned Wells
June 05, 2014
The Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have entered into a new data-sharing agreement that promises to improve methods of locating abandoned oil and gas wells. The Pa. DEP is engaged in an ongoing effort to discover and seal abandoned wells in Pennsylvania, while NETL has developed survey techniques that make it easier to find such wells. The data-sharing agreement will allow for research results to quickly benefit the Commonwealth and will provide NETL with a greater ability to assess the effectiveness of its survey technologies.
DOE-Sponsored Project Shows Huge Potential for Carbon Storage in Wyoming
June 03, 2014
The Wyoming Rock Springs Uplift could potentially store 14 to 17 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), according to results from a Department of Energy-sponsored study. This is equal to 250 to 300 years’ worth of CO2 emissions produced by the Wyoming’s coal-fired power plants and other large regional anthropogenic CO2 sources at current emission levels.
Power Storage Project Breaks New Ground in Smart Grid Renewable Energy Integration
June 03, 2014
An award-winning energy-storage project in Texas managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is demonstrating the effectiveness of using advanced lead–acid batteries to store power generated by a wind farm for more effective power grid management—solid progress in the nation’s drive toward smart grid evolution.
Preparing the Next Generation Workforce for 21st Century Smart Grid Success
June 02, 2014
The interconnected electric power system that the National Academy of Engineering recognized as the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century is undergoing a major upgrade to 21st century functionality. A combination of sophisticated sensors, communications, and computing innovations help make this possible. Also needed—and one of the biggest challenges facing the transition—is having qualified people to make it happen and to keep it innovative.
Smart Grid Tool Helps Utility Companies Make Smart Decisions
May 28, 2014
Transforming the nation’s aging power grid—the interconnected system of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution—into a reliable smart grid that bolsters national security, improves emissions, and fuels a growing economy requires utility company leaders to make complex business and technology decisions. The Energy Department is providing assistance to navigate those challenges.
How the National Labs Help Us Understand the Inner Workings of Power Plants
May 27, 2014
From discovering subatomic particles to developing protective coatings for airplanes, our National Labs are constantly making advancements in research and development. This week, the National Energy Technology Lab held an open project review meeting to show the public exactly what they’re working on right now.
Elusive High-Speed Particles Caught on Video
April 30, 2014
To improve the efficiency and environmental performance of fossil fuel–based energy production, researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have developed high-speed imaging systems—comprising both video and accompanying software—that allow researchers to see and analyze particle motion in great detail, deep inside fast-moving flow fields.
NETL Nanotechnology May Make Life Easier for Diabetics
April 29, 2014
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory and the University of Pittsburgh have developed a hybrid nanostructure with a unique sensitivity to acetone that has the potential to easily and non-invasively monitor blood sugar.
NETL’s Nanometer-Sized Heaters Use Sunlight to Convert CO2
April 29, 2014
A team of scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory and West Virginia University has developed new nano-sized materials capable of converting visible light into thermal energy, which can then be used to drive the conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to methane, carbon monoxide, and other usable gases.
Unconventional Oil and Gas Projects Help Reduce Environmental Impact of Development
April 17, 2014
Since the first commercial oil well was drilled in the United States in 1859, most of the nation’s oil and natural gas has come from reservoirs from which the resources are relatively easy to extract. As these "conventional" reservoirs become harder to find, however, we are turning to oil and natural gas in shale or other less-permeable geologic formations, which do not readily release the hydrocarbons. These "unconventional" reservoirs require additional engineering measures, such as hydraulic fracturing, to improve reservoir quality and enable them to produce oil and gas at commercially viable rates.
DOE Marks Major Milestone with Startup of Recovery Act Demonstration Project
April 09, 2014
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy joined RTI International (RTI) and Tampa Electric Company (TECO) to celebrate the successful startup of a pilot project to demonstrate a warm gas cleanup carbon capture technology in a coal gasification unit at the TECO Polk Power Station near Tampa, Fla. The project, which is approximately $3 million under budget, included $168 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
NETL-Led Laboratory-Industry-Academia Collaboration Is Accelerating Carbon-Capture Technologies
April 01, 2014
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) established the Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative (CCSI) to take carbon-capture concepts from the laboratory to the power plant more quickly, at a lower cost, and with reduced risk than would be accomplished following more traditional research and development pathways. Today, the NETL-led CCSI has proven itself to be a model of successful, effective collaboration among government, industry, and academia.
NETL Researchers Reap 15 New Patents in 2013
March 19, 2014
Just as the nation’s farmers sow, nurture, and ultimately harvest the results of their labor, scientists and engineers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) can take pride when their own processes or products are ripe for patents recognizing their efforts. During 2013, 15 tools, techniques, and technologies developed by NETL researchers were recognized for their exclusivity and uniqueness by receiving patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
FE’s Ultra-Deepwater Program focuses on spill prevention, safety and environmental stewardship
March 06, 2014
Nearly everyone recognizes that prudent development of domestic oil and natural gas resources will continue to be an important part of U.S. energy strategy for decades to come. How important depends a lot on conducting operations responsibly, ensuring communities are safe and the environment protected as the nation maximizes use of this vital domestic energy resource.
Cleantech: Innovative Lab Partnership Reduces Emissions from Coal
January 30, 2014
As the United States transitions to cleaner, greener sources of power, the Energy Department is investing in technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from burning the fossil fuels that many areas of our country still rely upon. Recently, the National Energy Technology Laboratory partnered with Great River Energy to increase operating efficiencies and reduce the emission of pollutants at the company's Coal Creek Station in North Dakota using a new fuel enhancement system called DryFining™.
Celebrating a Decade of Carbon Storage Research Through Partnership
January 07, 2014
For the past decade, the Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory has managed a nationwide network of partnerships that team government, industry, academia, and nonprofit organizations to identify the best approaches for permanently storing CO2 in deep geologic formations.
Uncovering Coal's Secrets Through the University Coal Research Program
January 06, 2014
The challenges confronting the environmentally sound use of our country’s fossil energy resources are best addressed through collaborative research and development. That’s why this approach, which stretches federal dollars, is at the heart of the Office of Fossil Energy’s University Coal Research (UCR) Program.