Director's Corner

Release Date: November 13, 2017

NETL's coal-related projects impact technologies that can revitalize American manufacturing and energy production


1113 power magazine 

Few things are certain in a changing world, but some things we can be sure of—through the year 2030, our electricity consumption will grow by about one percent a year; fossil fuel will remain a major fuel source for the facilities that produce electricity to meet that demand; and NETL’s work developing lower cost carbon capture and storage technologies will help make producing electricity and chemicals more efficient while enhancing the recovery of oil reserves once thought inaccessible.

NETL is building on a productive history of carbon capture technology development with large-scale innovations to bolster enhanced oil recovery efforts.

Three on-going efforts supported by NETL are showing what innovative technologies can do to help cleanly use coal for power generation make cement plants, chemical plants, refineries, paper mills and a host of manufacturing facilities operate more efficiently; and use captured carbon dioxide to increase oil recovery.

  • A large-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology designed and built by Allentown, PA-based Air Products and Chemicals Inc. at a Texas refinery and made possible through support from NETL successfully captured and transported its 4-millionth metric ton of CO2 recently. The project is also helping to verify that CO2-enhanced oil recovery is an effective method for safely and permanently storing carbon in geologic formations while increasing oil production from fields once thought to be exhausted.
  • Petra Nova, at NRG’s W.A. Parish power generating station southwest of Houston, demonstrated an advanced carbon capture technology that removes 90 percent of the CO2 emitted from a flue gas stream. The plant recently captured its 1 millionth ton of CO2 for permanent storage and enhanced oil recovery operations at the West Ranch Oil Field. Petra Nova, finished on time and on budget with NETL support, was selected as POWER magazine’s plant of the year.
  • The Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company’s agricultural processing and biofuels plant in Decatur, IL started large-scale geological carbon storage in April 2017. The carbon produced from an ethanol production plant is a byproduct of processing corn into fuel-grade ethanol at the ADM plant.

We are proud of the role we play in moving these efforts forward. It’s all a part of our focus to revitalize and grow the fossil value-chain for manufacturing revitalization, global competitiveness, energy dominance, and economic growth.


As Director of NETL, Dr. Grace M. Bochenek brings a tradition of leadership, technical expertise, and precision to the laboratory’s mission of protecting the nation’s environment and enhancing its energy independence. For more information about Dr. Bochenek's background and experience, please click here.