Director's Corner

Release Date: June 30, 2016

Integrating New Innovations from the Lab to the Marketplace

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories have innovated thousands of new technologies and processes for entire industries that eventually improved many lives in our nation and around the globe. Commercialization of the innovations and processes that we make possible by involving private sector partnerships is an integral part of our mission of service to the nation.

DOE recently announced that four technologies that NETL proposed will receive funding to facilitate their movement into the marketplace. The news is further testimony to the important work done by NETL and our commitment to put new research into the hands of the private sector where it can do the most good.

Overall, DOE, through its Technology Commercialization Fund, is investing $16 million in 54 projects at 12 national laboratories that are headed to market. Each project will be leveraged against an equal amount of non-federal funds from the private sector partner to match the federal investment.

The new NETL technologies headed for commercialization have many applications.

One project will lead to the deployment of less expensive materials that will improve the reliability of solid oxide fuels cells—a promising technology with clean energy applications.

Another concerns a process that will reduce the energy needed to convert iron oxide hematite—a byproduct from steel manufacturing—into a product that can be used in the manufacture of brake pads, water filtration systems, and other products, and remove sulfur from Marcellus shale gas.

Still another new technology uses sensors to protect water supplies by monitoring long-term subsurface activities.

Finally, the fourth NETL innovation is a process to lower the cost of monitoring renewable energy plants that use biomass gasifiers, and chemical and pharmaceutical industries that manufacture products in large vessels.

These four successes are further examples of how NETL pursues its mission of discovering, integrating, and maturing technology solutions to enhance the nation’s energy foundation while protecting the environment for future generations. For a more in-depth explanation of the technologies and the partnership program that will fund their commercialization, read the story about them in the NETL newsroom.

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.