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Marcellus Shale Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (MSEEL) at the Morgantown Industrial Park.
Data gleaned from three years’ worth of research from the Marcellus Shale Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (MSEEL) — a research partnership funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) that involves West Virginia University (WVU) and Northeast Natural Energy (NNE) — will guide more extensive testing at a second new well site with initial top hole drilling set to begin the week of December 23rd near Core, W.Va. MSEEL is a cornerstone of NETL’s unconventional oil and gas program. The new research--west of the initial Morgantown Industrial Park site, in western Monongalia County, W.Va. --is geared toward improving gas recovery from horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing at sites throughout the region. The start of drilling is known as “spudding.”
FOA Announcement Logo
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) for a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) focused on recovering rare earth elements (REE) and critical materials (CM) from domestic coal  resources, using novel and conventional extraction, separation, and recovery processes. DE-FOA-0002003, Process Scale-Up and Optimization/Efficiency Improvements for Rare Earth Elements (REE) and Critical Materials (CM) Recovery from Coal-Based Resources, will support FE’s Rare Earth Elements program. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage these projects.  It is anticipated that the FOA will target two areas of interest (AOIs). 1. Production of REEs and CMs – Transitioning and Scale-Up of Novel Extraction/Separation Concept Development into Bench-Scale Facility REE/CM Production. Specifically, this AOI will focus on further development or scale-up of novel REE and CM extraction and separation concepts, leading to production of REEs and CMs in bench-scale facilities.
REACT Images
Small-scale, modular power systems offer distinct advantages amid a changing energy landscape. Among other benefits, they expedite technology development, cut investment and operating costs, improve availability, reduce environmental impacts and offer flexibility in meeting location-specific needs. As NETL strives to develop technological solutions to the nation’s energy challenges, the Lab is investigating ways to improve modular systems that convert coal to energy and other useful products through gasification. The combustion-free gasification process relies on chemical reactions to convert coal into clean power, chemicals, hydrogen and transportation fuels within an enclosed space. Gasification also captures carbon for storage or enhanced oil recovery. The addition of pure oxygen enhances gasification systems; however, producing pure oxygen from ambient air within a modular system is a challenge. That’s why scientists at NETL are exploring the use of metal oxides, known as oxygen carriers, which absorb oxygen from the air and release it as a pure oxygen stream.
NETL researcher James Gardiner samples produced water at a CO2-EOR field in Texas
Measurement and analysis of geochemical signals – information that lies buried in the liquids, gases, and mineral deposits of the earth – are how researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) kept tabs on groundwaters and produced waters at Texas oil fields where carbon dioxide (CO2) was injected as part of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations. Across the U.S., when efforts to extract oil with conventional means have diminished, one commonly employed strategy involves enhancing oil recovery with CO2 injection. NETL researchers study the effects of CO2-EOR thousands of feet below ground by examining the chemistry of oilfield produced waters, in this case within the Permian Basin in Texas. Produced waters are typically salty waters that travel up the well to the surface along with oil and gas.
FOA logo
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has issued a Notice of Intent for a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects to enhance the performance and economics of the existing and future coal fleet. The objective of DE-FOA-0002001, Crosscutting Research for Coal-Fueled Power Plants, is to competitively solicit and award R&D to develop innovative technologies that can improve operational performance, reduce costs at existing coal power plants, and enhance future facilities, thereby lowering electricity costs for consumers.  Specific R&D areas of interest may include advanced manufacturing of embedded sensors, coal power plant cooling technology, and modeling of existing coal plant challenges. This effort is funded by FE’s Crosscutting Research Program, which develops technology with broad applicability for a range of fossil energy applications. Selected projects will be managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). 
NETL researchers are creating more efficient and environmentally benign electrochemistry technologies that turn carbon dioxide ( CO2) and excess energy back into valuable chemicals and fuels. One of the challenges associated with power plant economics is excess energy generation. Fossil fuel power plants can’t simply be turned off and on as demand increases or decreases. This picture becomes more complicated when renewables are added to the grid because wind and solar don’t generate a steady supply of power; it’s intermittent as weather conditions vary throughout the day. As a result, over-supply of energy becomes an issue. Storing electricity is not practical because of high costs, low-efficiency and poor reliability of methods for retaining energy that is generated during off peak hours. That’s where electrochemistry comes in. As its name suggests, “electrochemistry” uses electricity to do chemistry. Electrochemistry research is one way NETL researchers are transforming the reaction science landscape. As NETL researcher Doug Kauffman explained, “we’re basically moving electrons around to make chemistry happen.”
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has issued a request for proposal (RFP) seeking conceptual designs for coal-based power plants of the future, with an option to conduct preliminary front-end engineering design (Pre-FEED) studies.  This RFP is in support of the Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) initiative, which will develop the coal plants of the future needed to provide secure, stable, and reliable power.  As previously announced, this RFP and subsequent competitively-awarded research and development (R&D) opportunities will develop technologies that underpin coal-fired power plants that:
ClearPath Foundation sent a delegation for an extensive overview of NETL's work and a tour of relevant NETL research facilities.
A delegation from a prominent national non-profit organization that focuses on promotion of clean energy initiatives through small government, free markets, and American innovation visited NETL in Morgantown, West Virginia, Tuesday, Dec. 4 to learn about the Laboratory’s work on carbon capture and storage, solid oxide fuel cells, systems engineering analysis, chemical looping, and hybrid performance. ClearPath Foundation, with offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Washington D.C., sent a delegation for an extensive overview of the Laboratory’s work and a tour of relevant NETL research facilities. ClearPath has helped fund the National Carbon Capture Center in Wilsonville, Alabama, which works to accelerate the commercialization of advanced technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from both natural gas and coal power generation. NETL has a history of working with the Center to install and evaluate promising carbon capture technologies for scale-up and future commercial deployment.
Cover of the NETL Edge Vol 1
NETL presents the latest edition of our publication that showcases the Lab’s research on emerging energy technologies. NETL Edge sharesthe latest developments our talented scientists and engineers are advancing to use our nation’s energy resources efficiently and safely to bolster American’s energy independence. Check out the winter edition to learn more about our research to recharge America’s existing coal-fired power plants, a new rare earth extraction facility created by NETL and West Virginia University, a recently completed supercomputer upgrade and more. Click here to read more.
Alaska Slope
An international partnership formed to investigate the resource potential of natural gas hydrates has announced plans to drill an initial test well within the Prudhoe Bay Unit (PBU), on the Alaska North Slope. The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have all played important roles in the work of the partnership. Gas hydrates are naturally occurring combinations of natural gas and water that form in specific conditions of relatively cold temperatures and relatively high pressures. They are known to occur in abundance in northern Alaska , as well as in the shallow sediments of deepwater continental margins around the world, most notably in the Gulf of Mexico and off the southeastern coast of Japan. Gas hydrates have been researched in the U.S. and Japan since the mid-1990s. The work of both countries confirmed the occurrence of gas hydrates, identified many technical details of its occurrence and nature, and demonstrated the technical feasibility of production.