Director's Corner

Release Date: October 26, 2017

NETL Presents at the 2017 TransTech Conference


Developing innovative technologies in a focused drive to enhance our prosperity and energy dominance is a key part of NETL’s work. A critical element to all our research activities is transferring new technologies from our laboratories into the market where they can provide tangible benefits to the people of our nation.

That’s why NETL is a proud sponsor of the annual TransTech Energy Business Development Conference, which is being held at the Hilton Garden Inn at Southpointe in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, October 24 and 25th. The event brings together innovators and entrepreneurs to promote investment in new companies that can provide solutions to energy, environmental, and economic development challenges, like creating new jobs and more competitive industries.

This year NETL experts moderated a panel on “Building a Next-Generation Regional Energy Entrepreneurial Ecosystem,” in which several successful entrepreneurs from our region shared their expertise on innovating, investing, and incorporating. NETL technology managers were also on hand to participate in one-on-one conversations, and our researchers presented on some of our emerging innovations.

The highlight of the conference were technology pitches delivered from innovators to investors, strategic partners and project developers; investors on the lookout for transitional energy technology start-ups with potential; and established energy companies searching for strategic partnerships to develop innovative projects. Our researchers were front and center to feature four NETL innovations currently available for licensing:

  • Two technologies to help increase the competitiveness of coal by removing CO2 from high-pressure gas streams, including a high-temperature solvent and an aerodynamics approach that uses mechanical gas separation for efficient CO2 removal.
  • Two technologies for efficiently converting CO2 into value-added chemicals and fuels, including an electro-catalyst and approach and a second approach using mixed metal oxide catalysts. A new advanced fiber optic sensor technology that can alert utility companies of impending power transformer failure to help prevent power outages.
  • A new set of core materials for use in inductors, current transformers, and other electrical system applications that will enhance durability and performance, leading to improved cost efficiency.

The technologies presented at TransTech represent just a few of the innovations NETL is advancing to increase performance, efficiency, and availability of existing and new coal-fired power generation; increase competitiveness; make CO2 capture affordable; enable sequestration; discover efficient was to recover rare earth elements from coal and coal byproducts; and manage water usage to reduce impacts.

In addition to our technical excellence in coal research, we’re also addressing produced water challenges associated with oil and gas extraction; reducing methane emissions; improving offshore oil and gas recovery operations; and maximizing recovery efficiency and reduce environmental impacts. Many of our research projects are rapidly advancing down the pathway toward commercialization. This year’s TransTech conference was a lively, engaging event that sparked innovative ideas, jumpstarted initiatives that could bring new jobs in energy technology, and launched innovations with the potential to transform our energy landscape.

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.