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The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and NETL have selected seven Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) conceptual designs to receive $7 million and proceed with preliminary front-end engineering design (pre-FEED) studies. These designs have been selected from 13 conceptual design studies that were completed by 11 different recipients as part of the first phase of the effort. The DOE selected the designs as a part of its Coal FIRST initiative, which seeks to advance coal power generation beyond today’s state-of-the-art capabilities and make coal-fired power plants better adapted to the evolving electrical grid. Research and development resulting from this initiative will underpin coal-fired power plants that are capable of flexible operations to meet the needs of the evolving grid, use innovative cutting-edge components that improve efficiency and reduce emissions, provide resilient power to Americans, are small compared to today’s conventional utility-scale coal, and will transform how coal technologies are designed and manufactured.
Pipeline
An NETL review of corrosion sensing technology demonstrates the powerful potential of emerging applications to provide continuous real-time, in-situ monitoring of oil and natural gas infrastructure. This capability empowers industry to prevent pipeline leaks and failures, boosting infrastructure resilience and safety while mitigating unnecessary expenses that are often passed on to consumers via energy bills. The United States is home to roughly 400,000 miles of oil and natural gas pipelines, which transport vital fuels across the country to meet energy demands. Every inch is susceptible to corrosion, the natural deterioration of metal materials caused by chemical or electrochemical reactions with the environment. Corrosion leads to structural damage that costs billions of dollars each year; however, it’s challenging to detect during routine maintenance and inspections, and current state-of-the-art solutions typically involve periodic inspections rather than real-time monitoring. 
turbine
A new NETL study identified strong opportunities for global export of high-performance materials that are used in power plants and the aerospace industry – exports that could mean increased demand for U.S. goods and services and positive impacts for the U.S. economy. The report, “Assessing the Export Potential for High-Performance Materials,” examined the export potential and economic impacts resulting from both the primary and potential secondary applications of NETL high-performance materials (HPM) research. The research specifically assessed the potential international demand for HPMs in advanced ultra-supercritical (AUSC) and natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants, as well as the aerospace sector. The study estimated the potential economic impacts within the U.S. associated with estimated HPM exports in each market.
NETL NEWS
NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., will participate in a roundtable discussion at National Lab Day at the University of Toledo, which will be held Oct. 10-11 in Toledo, Ohio, to meet with other national laboratory directors and discuss NETL’s role in moving technology to society. Held each year, National Lab Day connects students and researchers with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories to offer unique scientific and technological capabilities that are often beyond the scope of academic and industrial institutions. NETL’s expertise in fossil energy research makes it a valuable resource for students and researchers in support of the Lab’s mission to produce technological solutions to America’s energy challenges. Anderson will convene with other laboratory directors to discuss the Lab’s recent accomplishments, future research goals and technology transfer challenges and solutions. Officials representing 15 DOE labs will be attending the event, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory and more.
CO2 Screen Logo
A team of researchers from government, academia and industry used NETL’s advanced carbon storage estimation tool called CO2-SCREEN to assess the feasibility of a commercial-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) storage complex in the Northern Michigan Basin (NMB) that could safely and cost-effectively store carbon emissions from industrial operations in the region. Use of the tool was documented in the “International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control.”
Lignite logo
NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., discussed state-of-the-art energy R&D and his Lab’s work to meet the nation’s most important energy challenges with representatives from mining companies, power providers and other businesses that rely on lignite at the Lignite Energy Council Fall Conference Oct. 3, 2019, in Bismarck, North Dakota. Anderson delivered a keynote address focused on state-of-the-art energy R&D and scientific and technological initiatives related to fossil energy that bring together multidisciplinary teams to meet some of the nation’s most important energy challenges. The presentation, titled “Accelerating Breakthrough Innovation in Clean Coal Technologies,” highlighted NETL’s forward-looking research and technology development and the Lab’s team of world-renowned experts who are driving fossil energy innovation. Prior to the event, NETL hosted a program review workshop that covered a wide range of coal-related topics, including carbon capture, carbon storage, rare earth elements from coal and coal byproducts, and high-value carbon products from coal. 
Covernors summit
NETL Director Brian J. Anderson, Ph.D., and other representatives will share the Lab’s innovative work to develop energy technology solutions at the upcoming West Virginia Governor’s Energy Summit. The West Virginia Office of Energy is hosting the 13th annual summit Oct. 7-9 at Stonewall Resort, in Roanoke, West Virginia, on behalf of Gov. Jim Justice. This year’s theme is “Embracing Energy Opportunities.” The event features energy experts from across the state, region and nation. Key stakeholders — including lawmakers, government officials, industry, university representatives, researchers and nongovernmental organizations — are slated to attend. NETL’s Associate Director for Strategic Partnerships Michael Knaggs and State & Local Partnerships Manager James Ferguson will kick off the Lab’s participation with a pre-conference workshop focused on partnering with NETL. The session will introduce attendees to the collaborative resources available through NETL to advance energy in the Mountain State. Anderson will address the crowd during Tuesday’s morning program to provide updates on the Lab’s latest technology achievements.
Gas Turbine
An NETL-sponsored project is leveraging artificial intelligence in a manner that will lead to more efficient, long-lasting and reliable gas turbines to meet America’s growing energy needs. As advanced energy systems move toward higher temperatures to boost efficiency and reduce emissions, monitoring their performance under such harsh conditions becomes a challenge. Existing monitoring tools for gas turbines are costly, time-consuming and complicated, involving wires and risks for damage. With funding and guidance from NETL, North Carolina-based Siemens Corp. and its partners are developing smart sensor systems that provide real-time monitoring of gas turbine components, thereby enabling condition-based maintenance and prediction of each component’s remaining useful life.
AI Image
NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., and other Lab personnel will exchange information and ideas with industry, universities, investors and end-use customers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) InnovationXLab Artificial Intelligence (AI) Summit Oct. 2-3, at the historic Drake Hotel in Chicago. The AI Summit, hosted by Argonne National Laboratory, will convene industry leaders from the energy, transportation, manufacturing and health care sectors, public officials and researchers from DOE national laboratories to discuss how advanced AI tools and machine learning (ML) techniques can support business transformation and drive economic growth. The continued leadership of the United States in AI is of paramount importance to maintain economic and national security, and events such as the InnovationXLab AI Summit are highlighting how business and industry can leverage the power of DOE’s national laboratories and AI to enrich the lives of Americans.
MS and T logo
More than two dozen NETL researchers will showcase innovative advances in materials science and technology this week at one of the nation’s premier technical meetings and exhibitions for materials science, engineering and application. The 2019 Materials Science and Technology (MS&T) Conference begins Sept. 29 and continues through Oct. 3 in Portland, Oregon. More than 3,000 scientists, engineers, students, suppliers and business leaders are expected to attend to discuss the latest scientific advances and future of materials science and technology. Twenty-five Lab researchers are slated to share their work among the 2,000-plus presentations at the conference. Their presentations will cover specific technical accomplishments within several topical areas including advanced materials for harsh environments, materials using microwaves and magnetics, thermodynamics of materials in extreme environments, substrate protection for corrosion prevention, phase transformations in ceramics and more. NETL’s Michael Gao is a program organizer for several sessions focused on phase stability and diffusion kinetics.