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NETL Visit
NETL celebrated new and revamped facilities that expand the Lab’s robust research capabilities to develop efficient, affordable energy technology solutions at a special ceremony Friday, June 14. NETL welcomed U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, U.S. Representative David McKinley , Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg and regional media to the Lab’s Morgantown, West Virginia, site to dedicate a new Reaction Analysis and Chemical Transformation (ReACT) facility and showcase a $16.5 million upgrade to the Joule supercomputer. A representative from U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s office also participated. “The ReACT facility pushes the boundaries of reaction science to boost efficiency, while Joule 2.0 enhances our computational work to deliver innovative energy technologies more quickly and at a reduced cost,” NETL Director Brian J. Anderson, Ph.D., said. “Collectively, these facilities offer greater capabilities in support of NETL’s work to create technologies that enable efficient, affordable energy production from our vast domestic resources, while ensuring responsible stewardship of the environment.”
Brian Anderson
NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., will speak at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo, which will be held Sunday, June 16 through Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Boston, Massachusetts. Anderson explained that the event connects top applied research and early-stage innovations from universities, labs and startups with industry end-users and prospectors. “TechConnect has published more than 10,000 technical papers, connected more than 20,000 innovations with industry partners, provided prospecting to many Fortune 500 technology companies, and supported most every U.S. Science and Technology agency since its inception,” Anderson said. “Showcasing NETL’s technology leadership in carbon capture and conversion technologies at this important networking and business event will help showcase some of the innovations we have made possible to an important gathering of potential commercialization partners.”
FOA Announcement
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL have selected 17 projects to receive approximately $39 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development under funding opportunity announcement Improving Efficiency, Reliability, and Flexibility of Existing Coal-Based Power Plants.
School Visit
Paul Ohodnicki, Ph.D., of NETL’s Functional Materials team, visited Central Elementary School in Allison Park, Pennsylvania, May 31 to share his expertise in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by assisting with Hampton Township School District’s Science Olympiad. With support from the Lab’s STEM K-12 Education & Outreach team, Ohodnicki encouraged students to solve real-world engineering problems through application of the engineering design process during the event.
2019 Mickey Leland and CIESESE Students
NETL welcomed more than 40 research associates June 3 as the Lab opened its doors to participants in the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) and Consortium for Integrating Energy Systems in Engineering and Science Education (CIESESE) programs. The summer research associates include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors who will get hands-on experience in NETL’s world-class facilities and conduct research one-on-one with the Lab’s expert scientists and engineers. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy, MLEF kicks off its 24th year with a class of 34 undergraduate and graduate students. The program was named after late Congressman Mickey Leland of Texas, a passionate advocate on many issues who died in a 1989 plane crash while on a mission to Ethiopia. 
NETL-led research is offering groundbreaking insight into the mysteries of methane hydrate formation and behavior by enabling pore-scale observation in natural conditions for the first time ever. The impactful data gleaned from this research will inform future efforts to produce clean, affordable and reliable energy from these abundant natural gas resources. Methane hydrate is a cage-like lattice of ice that forms underwater at low-temperature, high-pressure conditions, trapping molecules of methane — the chief constituent of natural gas — inside. The amount of carbon stored in gas hydrate deposits worldwide is comparable to the volume stored in all conventional fossil fuels combined, offering promising possibilities to meet global energy needs. Yet, researchers have previously only speculated as to how methane hydrates form in nature due to inadequate methods of scientific investigation.
NETL Welcomes Case Western Reserve University for Oil & Gas Talk
NETL welcomed an esteemed lecturer and other representatives from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) May 28 to share insights on managing oil and natural gas data for unconventional resources. Jeffrey Yarus, a CWRU lecturer and recently retired Halliburton Technology Fellow for Landmark, presented a talk entitled “Rethinking Geoscience, Industry and Academia: The Impact of Digitalization” to Lab employees at the invitation of NETL Senior Fellow Grant Bromhal. Yarus was accompanied by CWRU’s Chris Littman, business development director and operations manager of the Solar Durability and Lifetime Extension Center, and Beverly Saylor, professor of stratigraphy and sedimentology, for his visit to the Pittsburgh site.
Carbon Capture Event
NETL will host its first comprehensive annual project review meeting to showcase cutting-edge research under four Office of Fossil Energy research programs aimed at developing novel technological solutions to America’s energy challenges during a weeklong session Aug. 26-30 in Pittsburgh. The inaugural Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage, and Oil and Gas Technologies Integrated Project Review Meeting, “Addressing the Nation’s Energy Needs Through Technology Innovation,” will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. All interested parties are welcome to participate; registration is required.
A leading-edge sensing technology developed by NETL researchers designed to enable more flexible operation of gas-fired power plants is advancing toward commercialization as part of a partnership with turbine manufacturer Solar Turbines Incorporated. NETL’s Raman Gas Analyzer provides the capability for real-time control of turbine machinery based on fuel composition. A cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with Solar Turbines provided testing to help advance this technology toward commercialization. Its eventual implementation will enable more flexible operation of gas-fired power plants, creating clean, affordable power from domestic fuel sources.
Brian Anderson
NETL welcomed representatives from 13 universities nationwide this week to share their successes in strategic fossil energy research areas including advanced combustion, oil and gas, carbon capture, carbon storage, carbon use and reuse, gasification and fuel cell technologies. The University Coalition for Fossil Energy Research (UCFER), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through NETL, hosted its annual technical review meeting at the Lab’s Pittsburgh site May 22-23. The six-year, $20-million initiative aims to tackle critical fossil energy research challenges in collaboration with partner universities. “The annual technical review meeting provides a valuable opportunity for UCFER members to present their ongoing research and exchange ideas with NETL collaborators,” said Omer Bakshi, DOE project officer for UCFER. The UCFER initiative launched in 2015 and continues through September 2021. To date, more than $6 million has been awarded to 23 projects in three rounds of funding. Representatives from eight schools attended the annual technical review meeting to provide updates on 17 active projects.