Director's Corner

Release Date: January 17, 2018

Science & Technology Accomplishments Session


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When Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy (ASFE) Steven Winberg visited NETL’s Pittsburgh and Morgantown sites in December 2017, he emboldened us to focus on work that achieves key facets of the Administration’s America First Energy Plan – including boosting our energy independence, enhancing safety and stimulating the economy.

With that in mind, it’s fitting that ASFE Winberg’s next visit to NETL was for this week’s inaugural Science and Technology Accomplishments Session. The interactive poster session highlighted more than 30 of NETL’s bold 2017 program and research successes. These include the following:

  • NETL and its partners successfully validated operation of a 2-megawatt (mW) thermal heat-integrated, solvent-based carbon capture system for over 4,000 hours at an active commercial power plant. The technology could ultimately increase energy production, boost jobs and reduce costs at coal-fired power plants.
  • NETL researchers fabricated a solid-state electrochemical sensor prototype to monitor leakage and corrosion in natural gas pipelines. These sensors have the potential to broadly impact response and management when a leak occurs.
  • NETL and its partners identified high concentrations of rare earth elements (REEs) from acid mine precipitate, coal preparation plant refuse, and coal and rock samples in basins across the country. REEs are used in transportation, health care and other industries that affect our daily lives. Domestic REE recovery will enhance national security, increase revenue for the energy sector and stimulate economic growth.

For more than a century, NETL has developed bold and innovative technology solutions to address America’s energy challenges using fossil energy resources. This involves a great deal of study and discovery by NETL researchers and support staff, who work every day to address our nation’s energy needs. Progress requires superior expertise and unwavering dedication, which NETL has relied upon to steadily expand its impressive resume of science and technology achievements.

This week’s Science and Technology Accomplishments Session is the first of many events throughout the year that allow us to showcase our vital work at NETL. While this poster session was limited to ASFE Winberg, Office of Fossil Energy representatives, regional university officials, employees and other key stakeholders, other events are open to industry, the academic community and the public we serve. We welcome you to share in our discoveries at conferences, forums, workshops and more when the opportunity arises. Please join me in applauding NETL’s 2017 achievements as we look forward to celebrating many more milestones to come.


As Acting Director of NETL, Sean I. Plasynski, Ph.D., builds on an extensive background in energy as he leads NETL in its mission to enhance the nation’s energy independence and protect the environment for future generations. For more information about Sean Plasynski's experience, please click here.