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NETL Morgantown
NETL continues to adapt to current events by taking the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) summer internship program virtual for the participating students for the first time. Participants include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors who will get one-on-one mentorship experiences working with NETL’s world-class scientists and engineers. Sean Sanguinito, a research scientist at the Lab’s Pittsburgh location who has mentored in the program for years, said that although the Lab’s facilities remain closed, the ability to take the program online has plenty of valuable experiences to offer such as modeling studies, data analysis/interpretation, literature review work, and other computational efforts. “While participants won’t be on-site, they will still learn about all the different components that are involved in being a research scientist,” he said. “Research does not simply include conducting laboratory experiments. The students will perform literature reviews, analyze existing data, interpret and plot existing data, write up their results, and present their conclusions in a professional manner.”
Rich D
Richard Dennis, whose professional accomplishments at NETL span 35 years, has been named a Fellow in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), a prestigious honor the society awards to members for significant engineering achievements. A graduate of West Virginia University, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, Dennis currently serves as technology manager for NETL’s Advanced Turbines and Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (sCO2) Power Cycle programs. Dennis manages a research portfolio that focuses on developing revolutionary, near-zero-emission advanced turbines to produce electricity using fossil fuels. He also leads efforts to advance high-efficiency, low-cost power generation based on sCO2 power cycles and serves in a leadership role in the NETL-supported development of a sCO2 pilot plant test facility located on the Southwest Research Institute campus in San Antonio, Texas.
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL have selected 12 projects to receive approximately $6 million in federal funding to support high-risk fundamental research that advances the science of coal technology at U.S. colleges and universities. These projects are supported through the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002193, University Training and Research for Fossil Energy Applications. This FOA encompasses two separate university programs: the University Coal Research (UCR) Program and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Other Minority Institutions (HBCU/OMI) Program. Each program has its own requirements and restricted eligibility. Projects under this FOA support early-stage, fundamental research that advances the science of coal technologies, while also helping train the next generation of energy researchers, scientists, and engineers at U.S. colleges and universities. The HBCU/OMI program aims to increase the participation of underrepresented students in that research.
NRAP
Over the last 10 years, the NETL-led National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP) has built industrial confidence and worked to accelerate the commercial deployment of large-scale geologic carbon storage (GCS), which will allow for the continued use of abundant fossil fuels in an environmentally responsible manner by safely and permanently storing carbon dioxide from industrial sources deep underground. Now well into its second phase, NRAP is expanding its award-winning toolset and forging new collaborations that will continue to improve the initiative’s ability to address critical questions of GCS risk management.
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL have selected two projects to receive approximately $10 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002192, Extreme Environment Materials for Power Generation. The objective of this FOA was to competitively seek cost-shared applications for materials research, development, testing, and validation to enhance the reliability of the Nation’s existing fossil fleet and materials supply chain. Thermal fatigue and corrosion are two predominate damage mechanisms to steam cycle components that are operated under cyclic load conditions, which is why material joint reliability and surface technologies are the focus of this FOA.
Drone
Tracking a methane plume associated with piping and equipment. NETL is expanding its methane leak detection technology work with the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) of San Antonio, Texas, to use machine learning-based algorithms for the quantification of fugitive methane emissions – small leaks that typically go undetected along natural gas pipelines and at storage facilities. Locating and measuring the quantity of fugitive methane emissions will facilitate the natural gas industry to operate most responsibly. Methane quantification is also an important part of Leak Detection and Repair programs for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s inventory reduction and mitigation prioritization foci.
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL have announced its intention to commit approximately $81 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects through the release of the draft funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002180, Design Development and System Integration Design Studies for Coal FIRST Concepts. The draft FOA has been issued so that interested parties are aware of DOE’s intention to issue the finalized FOA later this summer. Projects resulting from the finalized FOA will support DOE’s Coal FIRST initiative.
Dustin
Placed end to end, the total length of the rock core samples scrutinized last year by NETL researcher Dustin Crandall, Ph.D., and his colleagues would span roughly 10 football fields. Driving much of that impressive volume is the need to complete rock core characterization studies to support large-scale geologic carbon sequestration and to make that data available to the public. NETL supports projects to safely and permanently store carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants and other industrial sources by injecting it into deep underground reservoirs capped by layers of non-porous rock. These efforts not only reduce emissions of greenhouse gases; they also support continued use of abundant fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas in an environmentally responsible manner.
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Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL have announced an invitation for public comment on the design of a potential prize competition aimed at lowering water use in existing thermoelectric power plants and enabling near-zero water use in new power plants. The potential prize is part of the White House-initiated, DOE-led Water Security Grand Challenge, which aims to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water, using a coordinated suite of prizes, competitions, and early-stage research and development. The Request for Information (RFI) seeks input on a prize for novel equipment designs—including materials and methods of manufacture for both wet and dry cooling systems and combinations thereof, as well as systems with alternative working fluids. The aim is for these designs to achieve the Department’s goal of reducing the water intensity of thermoelectric power generation by 2030.
CO2
A new iteration of NETL's CO2-SCREEN software application is enabling researchers to more accurately estimate carbon dioxide storage potential in previously overlooked locations, opening the door for carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) projects on a large scale, along with new enhanced oil recovery operations. Originally developed to estimate prospective carbon dioxide (CO2) storage potential in saline and shale formations, the latest version of the Lab's CO2-SCREEN (Storage prospeCtive Resource Estimation Excel aNalysis) tool can be used for estimations in residual oil zones (ROZs), which can serve as valuable sites for CCUS projects. ROZs are deposits of immobile oil typically found underneath conventional reservoirs. These reservoirs have essentially been "waterflooded” by nature — natural water movement through the reservoir, pushing the oil in the direction of production wells. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates ROZs could contain 100 billion barrels of recoverable oil, representing a substantial yet underutilized source of domestic energy.