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eXtremeMAT Technical Advisory Board Discusses Development of Extreme Environment Materials for Fossil Fuel Plants at NETL

Technical advisory board members of eXtremeMAT, a national effort focused on developing next-generation extreme-environment materials for use in advanced fossil energy power systems that operate in extreme environments, met at NETL’s Pittsburgh site Aug. 13, 2019, to assess progress and map plans for future research.

Fossil energy transformational power technologies like ultra-supercritical steam plants and supercritical carbon-dioxide power have the potential to increase efficiencies and bolster clean coal efforts because they operate at higher temperatures and pressures. However, these technologies operate in harsher, more corrosive conditions compared to traditional power plants. In addition, current fossil power plants are increasingly subjected to cycling conditions due to increases in renewable energy sources onto the electricity grid. Accelerating the development of improved steels, superalloys and other advanced alloys is of paramount importance in deploying materials solutions to address materials challenges associated with both the existing fleet and future power systems.

The U.S. Department of Energy Office (DOE) of Fossil Energy’s (FE) eXtremeMAT project addresses these challenges by harnessing the computational and experimental materials science expertise and capabilities within the DOE national laboratory complex into an integrated, mission-focused team aimed at improving heat-resistant alloys and improving models to predict long-term materials performance in existing and future fossil energy power systems.

The eXtremeMAT team is led by NETL and partner laboratories, Ames Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Its approach uses physics-based computational modeling with data analytics and machine learning coupled with specific, targeted experimentation to accelerate the design of new heat-resistant alloys for existing and advanced fossil energy power cycles.

The purpose of the eXtremeMAT technical advisory board is to assess the technical merit of the project. The board members, which include subject matter experts from academia and government, are reviewing research progress to date and making plans while providing technical feedback.

The board members received an official welcome to NETL from Bryan Morreale, executive director of NETL’s Research and Innovation Center; Regis Conrad, director of FE’s Advanced Energy Systems; and Briggs White, technology manager for NETL’s Crosscutting Research Program.

The technical advisory board meeting at NETL consists of representatives of the University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Georgia Tech, Pennsylvania State University, the National Institute for Science and Technology and Thermo-Calc Software Inc.