NETL’s Program Execution and Integration functions are powered by highly trained experts that are developing clean energy technologies, assisting with problem-solving and evaluating and managing project risk, as well as defining, soliciting, negotiating, awarding, managing and delivering federally sponsored research and development benefits to the nation. Applying these assets, NETL has guided a range of successful research, development and demonstration projects.
A sample of NETL’s many collaborative successes in 2021 follow:
A University of California, Los Angeles technology developed in cooperation with NETL won the grand prize of $7.5 million in the prestigious NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE global competition for the development of an eco-friendly process that infuses a revolutionary concrete with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions directly captured from power plants and other industrial facilities.
Researchers from New Mexico State University and Arizona State University partnered with NETL and took inspiration from nature to create a new generation of autonomous robots to monitor and inspect vital energy and civil infrastructure.
The University of California, Riverside and University of Texas at El Paso, with support from NETL, worked on projects in the emerging field of quantum information science that are helping advance new technologies to better monitor operating conditions in advanced power plants and safeguard the nation’s energy infrastructure against cyberattacks.
NETL advanced emerging carbon capture research areas such as direct air capture and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage by engaging in extramural collaborations with the private sector, academia and other national laboratories.
Researchers at Rice University, in cooperation with NETL, studied how an advanced conversion process called flash Joule heating can inexpensively produce high-value graphene from carbon ore using scalable technology, producing a valuable additive for next-generation technology and advanced manufacturing methods.
Under NETL sponsorship, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Kentucky investigated ways to use carbon ore to create high-value products like carbon fiber composites for the aerospace, automotive, wind energy markets and more. The research supports environmental justice by paving the way for new clean manufacturing industries and good-paying jobs in American coal communities.
DOE helped catalyze economic growth and job creation in energy communities across the nation through the establishment of the NETL-led Carbon Ore, Rare Earth and Critical Minerals (CORE-CM) initiative. The initiative will help secure a domestic supply of rare earth elements and critical minerals, which are crucial to the manufacture of clean energy technologies that will help decarbonize the energy sector.
Auburn University, the Electric Power Research Institute, the University of Kentucky Research Foundation and the University of Utah partnered with NETL to conduct lab-scale investigations into how co-gasification of waste plastics and other diverse waste feedstocks such as biomasses affect gasifier hardware and gasification processes. These investigations are designed to yield valuable data to inform future upscaling efforts that could provide a pathway to decarbonized energy systems.
A new superalloy, developed by Haynes International and tested by a collaborative effort led by NETL, received American Society of Mechanical Engineers approval for use in the next generation of power plants that will operate with enhanced efficiency and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
These accomplishments are just a few examples of the work the Lab is doing through its Program Execution and Integration competency to help solve the nation’s toughest energy challenges, such as achieving net-zero carbon emissions in the electric sector by 2035 and the broader economy by 2050.
NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By leveraging its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.