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NAMS Booth
NETL researchers highlighted the Lab’s robust research to develop effective membranes for post-combustion carbon dioxide (CO2) capture at the North American Membrane Society’s 28th Annual Meeting. The meeting, held May 11-15 in Pittsburgh, attracted the world’s top scientists pursuing groundbreaking membranes research. Workshops, plenary lectures, technical sessions and poster exhibits focused on this year’s theme, “Membrane Separations for Emerging Water, Energy and Health Applications.” For energy applications, membrane technologies use permeable or semi-permeable materials to selectively separate and transport CO2 from flue gases. The relative simplicity of membrane-based CO2 capture processes offers reduced capital and maintenance costs as compared to other separation technologies. NETL’s membranes research focuses on the development of low-cost, durable membranes with improved permeability and selectivity, thermal and physical stability, and tolerance to contaminants in combustion flue gas.
Exxon Story
NETL will expand key research programs aimed at advancing groundbreaking low-emissions energy technologies under a new 10-year partnership with ExxonMobil and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Per agreements announced Wednesday, May 8, ExxonMobil will invest up to $100 million in cooperative research and development aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the growing power generation, transportation and manufacturing industries. The influx of funding will allow NETL to expand research on carbon capture and storage, carbon dioxide utilization, oil and gas, enhanced oil recovery and more. Collaborative research will target breakthroughs in advanced biofuels, life-cycle assessment, process intensification, carbon capture and other emerging low-carbon technologies. The goal is to develop innovative technologies that make advanced energy systems more efficient, so they use less fuel and generate fewer emissions, or mitigate the carbon generated through safe and cost-effective means.
NETL’s Regional Workforce Initiative (RWFI) will present a webinar briefing on the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) 1- 2 p.m. Thursday, May 30. The Webinar is free, but registration is limited. Interested persons can register here. The online event is designed to inform participants about the current state of the energy and advanced manufacturing workforce for the tri-state (Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia) and the broader Appalachian region, as well as emerging national trends. This is the first briefing on the regional and national results of the 2019 USEER. The information presented will be useful for stakeholders engaged in the planning and implementation of energy and manufacturing jobs, workforce strategies, and economic development forecasting.
Single Crystal Optical Fiber
Turbines, nuclear power plants and chemical reactors operate at increasingly higher temperatures to boost efficiency and reduce expenses. However, these extreme temperatures also create harsh environments that contribute to corrosion, oxidation and other materials challenges in monitoring advanced energy systems. NETL’s novel laser-heated pedestal growth system enables researchers to fabricate custom single-crystal optical fibers from bulk materials, such as sapphire or yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG), that can withstand ultra-high temperatures. Now, researchers are building upon that work to incorporate these specially made fibers into fully distributed sensing systems that effectively monitor temperatures, strains or other important parameters up to 1,500 degrees Celsius, or more than 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit.
NETL Deputy Director Randall Gentry, Ph.D., and NETL researcher Grant Bromhal, Ph.D., will represent the Laboratory at the 4th Annual Partnership Summit hosted by the University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) and the EERC Foundation May 20 and 21 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The event is designed to bring together experts from all energy sectors, along with legislators and state officials, to discuss critical energy topics. Gentry and other NETL experts will discuss the Laboratory’s role in using domestic resources to power the nation’s homes, industries, businesses, and transportation economically, while protecting our environment and enhancing our energy independence.
FOA Logo
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and NETL have announced up to $5 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002004, Low Cost, Efficient Treatment Technologies for Produced Water. These projects will accelerate the development and commercialization of treatment technologies that reduce waste water and increase fresh water supplies. The selected projects will support the Produced Water R&D program, which develops technology to reduce the amount of waste water from oil and natural gas production operations. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the selected projects, which will focus on developing new technologies and on improving the efficiency of existing commercial processes — specifically, those that target removal of challenging constituents.
Advanced Materials
NETL Director Brian Anderson highlighted the Lab’s leadership in advanced manufacturing as he led a fossil energy-focused panel discussion at a two-day summit hosted this week by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The event was part of the Innovation XLab series, which aims to showcase the impressive capabilities of DOE’s national laboratories. The Advanced Manufacturing Summit held May 7-8 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, brought together a variety of stakeholders to explore new solutions to manufacturing challenges and opportunities. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry delivered the keynote address, emphasizing the role of advanced manufacturing in U.S. competitiveness.
FEB Awards
NETL employees were honored for their excellence in government service at a recent ceremony hosted by the Federal Executive Board May 8 at the University of Pittsburgh’s William Pitt Student Union. Three NETL employees received prestigious Excellence in Government awards, which recognize outstanding federal employees for efforts that encourage innovation and excellence in government; reinforce pride in federal service; and call public attention to the broad range of service provided by federal employees. An independent committee of federal executives selected the award winners. NETL employees received awards for the following achievements:
Circe Verba
NETL’s Circe Verba, Ph.D., a research geologist and experienced science communicator, will be a featured presenter at the Portland ScienceFEST 2019 Saturday, May 11 at the University of Oregon Portland. Portland ScienceFEST 2019 is a celebration of science and technology offering interactive tracks that address general science, technology, and Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) for Kids. Each track will feature interactive programming. The mission of the event is to share the power of science through programs that tell stories and engage all voices. The program is intended to help participants explore what it means to practice and observe rigorous science through shared experiences in critical thinking. ScienceFEST is partnered with Women in Science PDX — a Portland-area organization created to encourage better science-related career training and mentoring opportunities for women. The event embraces the theory that science works best when scientists come from diverse perspectives and it encourages new generations of scientists that includes historically underrepresented groups.
FEB Award
NETL employees were honored for their excellence in government service at a recent ceremony hosted by the Oregon Federal Executive Board (FEB) Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at the Portland 911 Federal Building. Stephen Curfman received an Unsung Hero award for his critical “behind-the-scenes” work that has created and preserved a safe and healthy environment where innovation thrives, the performance of personnel is elevated, and NETL’s mission for America scores significant scientific success. NETL’s Marisa (Arnold) Stuart was also recognized as a nominee in the Leadership Award category, for her exceptional support of the team she manages and her efforts to drive excellence at the Lab. The FEB Excellence in Government awards recognize outstanding federal employees for efforts that encourage innovation and excellence in government; reinforce pride in federal service; and call public attention to the broad range of service provided by federal employees. An independent committee of federal executives selected the award winners.