News Releases

Christopher A. Smith Confirmed as Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy
December 17, 2014
Christopher A. Smith was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday, December 16th, 2014, as the Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy.

Oil Operators Gain Powerful, User-Friendly Enhanced Oil Recovery Planning Software
December 15, 2014
New software developed by NITEC LLC (Denver, Colo.) under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory enables quicker, more affordable technical studies of carbon dioxide (CO2) enhanced oil recovery (EOR) for small- to mid-sized U.S. oilfield operators.

NETL’s BLOSOM Works to Predict and Prevent Underwater Oil Spills
December 10, 2014
A new modeling tool created by scientists at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is helping to prevent future hydrocarbon leaks and providing a greater understanding of how hydrocarbon leaks from all sources are transported throughout offshore systems.

ASM International Honors NETL Work on Platinum-Chromium Alloy for Coronary Stents
November 28, 2014
For their work on the development, transfer, and successful commercialization of a novel platinum-chromium alloy used in next-generation coronary stents, scientists at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and their colleagues, have been selected to receive a 2015 ASM Engineering Materials Achievement Award from the materials science and engineering society ASM International.

How an NETL-Managed Microgrid Demonstration Project Reduced Peak Power Loads and Improved Power Reliability at One of the Nation’s Largest Jails
November 20, 2014
A California jail, the fifth largest in the nation, hosted a demonstration project managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) that showed how a microgrid can reduce energy consumption and shave thousands of dollars off an annual electricity bill.

Energy Department Announces New Investments in Gasification Research
November 06, 2014
WASHINGTON--Today, as part of the Administration’s all-of-the-above energy approach, the Department of Energy has selected four projects to receive funding for next-generation gasification systems that also reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Awardees will receive approximately $16 million to advance the gasification process, which converts carbon-based materials like coal into syngas for use as power, chemicals, hydrogen, and transportation fuels.

New Field Laboratories and Related Research To Help Promote Environmentally Prudent Development of Unconventional Resources
November 05, 2014
Today, the Department of Energy announced the selection of three multiyear, field laboratories and six other multiyear research projects for continued research to promote environmentally prudent development of unconventional oil and natural gas (UOG) resources. As part of a July, 2014 Executive Order and a multiagency effort involving the Energy Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Geological Survey, these selections will help provide timely science and technology that will minimize environmental impacts of UOG development while maximizing the economic and national security benefits.

NETL-Managed Electric Vehicle/Smart Grid Transportation Projects Continue to Advance
October 30, 2014
With the growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) on America’s highways, evidenced by an anticipated 60 new commercial models on the market horizon, NETL-managed smart grid projects are making progress in the effort to drive down the costs of charging EVs with innovations for improving the nation’s charging infrastructure.

New Project To Improve Characterization of U.S. Gas Hydrate Resources
October 22, 2014
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the selection of a multi-year, field-based research project designed to gain further insight into the nature, formation, occurrence and physical properties of methane hydrate‐bearing sediments for the purpose of methane hydrate resource appraisal.

First-of-its-Kind Carbon Capture and Conversion Demonstration Technology Opening in Texas
October 21, 2014
Today, the Department of Energy and Skyonic Corporation marked the opening of a major project demonstration for converting carbon dioxide (CO2) into commercial products. This new plant will use a first-of-its-kind process to capture 75,000 tons of CO2 from a San Antonio, Texas, cement plant and convert the greenhouse gas into other products, including sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate, hydrochloric acid and bleach.

Funds Awarded to Historically Black Colleges and Universities for Fossil Energy Research
October 06, 2014
The U.S. Department of Energy has selected four research projects that will provide educational and research training opportunities for minority students while advancing key technical areas in fossil fuel utilization.

NETL Aids Schools and Students with STEM Outreach Opportunities
October 03, 2014
Early engagement with science is what propels students into careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). STEM education increases scientific literacy, creates critical thinkers, and provides the tools for the next generation of innovators to take their place in the world.

NETL Partners with Local Teachers for STEM Education Successes
October 01, 2014
NETL is committed to advancing new methods and technologies for efficient, low-cost, environmentally benign energy production. As part of this commitment, the laboratory works hand in hand with teachers of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to provide them with energy-related, content-rich STEM materials. Students who are excited in the STEM classroom today may pursue careers that help them find solutions to tomorrow’s energy challenges.

DOE Seeks Your Novel Ideas for Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Coal and Coal Byproducts
September 25, 2014

Do you have innovative ideas about technologies and concepts for the recovery of rare earth elements? Are these ideas applicable to recovery from coal and coal byproducts? If so, the Department of Energy (DOE) needs your input.

NETL Releases Hydraulic Fracturing Study
September 15, 2014
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has released a technical report on the results of a limited field study that monitored a hydraulic fracturing operation in Greene County, PA for upward fracture growth out of the target zone and upward gas and fluid migration. Results indicate that under the conditions of this study, for this specific location, fracture growth ceased more than 5,000 feet below drinking water aquifers and there was no detectable upward migration of gas or fluids from the hydraulically-fractured Marcellus Shale.

Six University Coal Research Projects Selected to Boost Advanced Energy Production
September 09, 2014
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected six new projects under the University Coal Research Program (UCR) that seek long-term solutions for the clean and efficient use of our nation’s abundant coal resources. The selected projects support the Office of Fossil Energy’s (FE) Crosscutting Research Program’s initiatives in high-performance materials and sensors and controls technology. The projects will be managed by FE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Petra Nova Project Breaks Ground on World’s Largest Post-Combustion Carbon Capture Project
September 05, 2014

A coal-fired power plant in Texas is on its way to capturing 1.4 million tons of CO2 that previously would have been released into the air.

NETL Collaborations Advance Carbon Management Strategies
August 27, 2014
Capturing carbon emissions before they can be released to the atmosphere and storing them safely and permanently is a key part of national efforts to curb climate change. This process, called carbon capture and storage (CCS), is also a critical component of the President’s Climate Action Plan.

Projects Selected for Safe and Permanent Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide
August 06, 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of 13 projects to develop technologies and methodologies for geologic storage of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) research is focused on developing technologies to capture industrially generated CO2, and safely and permanently store it in underground geologic formations, in order to reduce the amount of CO2 being released into the atmosphere.

Grace Bochenek Named New Director of DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory
August 04, 2014

The Department of Energy announced today that Grace Bochenek has been named the director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

Bochenek will manage the day-to-day operations of NETL, the national laboratory for the Office of Fossil Energy's research and development program. With more than 1,000 federal and contractor employees at five sites across the nation, NETL’s primary mission is to develop new technologies and approaches to ensure the safe, clean, and affordable use of fossil energy resources, including carbon capture and storage; advanced generation technology for new and existing coal-based power plants, and advanced research on novel concepts. 

From Lab to Market—Particle Imaging Technology Improves Energy Efficiency, Helps the Environment, Saves Lives
July 31, 2014
When scientists at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) created a new technology to study how tiny particles of coal take high-speed journeys through gases and liquids inside energy-producing systems, their goal was to help improve the efficiency and environmental friendliness of coal-based energy production. They didn’t intend to create an enabling innovation for other life-improving applications, but they did.

From Lab to Market—HEVI-Shot Helps Reduce Lead Levels in Fragile Ecosystems
July 25, 2014
Hunters and sportsmen are loading their shotguns with shells that contain environmentally friendly shot because of the metallurgical expertise of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the business ingenuity of a private sector entrepreneur, and a productive commercialization partnership.

Construction Begins on DOE-Sponsored Carbon-Capture Project at Kentucky Power Plant
July 21, 2014
Construction of an innovative carbon-capture pilot unit is now underway in a $19.5 million project funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The unit is being built at Kentucky Utilities’ E.W. Brown Generating Station near Harrodsburg, Ky. When completed later this year, the unit will test, at slipstream-scale, a novel system conceived by the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (UKCAER) to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the flue gas of an operating coal-fired power plant.

World’s Largest Post-Combustion Carbon Capture Project Begins Construction
July 16, 2014
Today, the Department of Energy – in partnership with NRG Energy Inc. and JX Nippon – announced that construction has begun on the first commercial-scale post-combustion carbon capture retrofit project in the U.S., the largest such project in the world. The Petra Nova Project will use this cutting edge technology to help decrease the power plant’s greenhouse gas emissions.

From Lab to Market—Reducing Mercury Emissions in U.S. Coal-Fired Power Plants
July 15, 2014
To protect the nation’s air quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued national standards in 2011 to reduce power plant emissions of mercury and other toxins. The standards were crafted largely by relying on widely available and proven controls already in use at more than half of our nation’s coal-fired power plants.

From Lab to Market—Improving Gasification Economics for Power and Chemicals Production
July 09, 2014
Gasification—the process of converting carbon-based materials such as coal into syngas, which can then be used to produce electricity, chemicals, and other products—is a promising pathway to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and provide a clean, carbon capture–ready source of energy. But gasification is a high-temperature, high-pressure process, so it can take a heavy toll on components and parts, costing operators considerable time and money.

NETL Supercomputer Puts Super Confidence in Research Results
July 03, 2014

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) supercomputer injects speed, accuracy, and—perhaps most importantly—confidence into the complex process of simulating emerging energy technologies and new, innovative materials.

NETL Supercomputer Helps Develop Metal Alloys for Next-Generation Fossil Fuel Technologies
July 01, 2014
Many emerging technologies designed to use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently require components made of new materials that can withstand unprecedented temperatures, pressures, and corrosion levels. Developing these new materials was an arduous, time-consuming task of trial-and-error before researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) began using one of the world’s top modeling tools—the NETL supercomputer—to design and model new metal alloys.

Energy Department Project Captures and Stores more than One Million Metric Tons of CO2
June 26, 2014

Following the one year mark since the release of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) - in partnership with Air Products and Chemicals Inc. – today announced a major milestone, successfully capturing more than one million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) at the hydrogen-production facility in Port Arthur, Texas. Using an innovative technology called vacuum swing adsorption, the project captures more than 90 percent of the CO2 from the product stream of two commercial-scale steam methane reformers that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere. In addition to the secure storage, captured carbon from the project will be used to help produce additional, hard-to-access resources from existing nearby oil fields. In total, Department of Energy projects have captured and securely stored nearly 7.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to date, equivalent to taking more than 1.5 million cars off the road for a year. In just the last year since the release of the President’s Climate Action Plan, these Department-supported projects have stored approximately 2.8 metric tons.

NETL Supercomputer Helps Researchers Study Coal Gasification
June 25, 2014
Researchers at the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) are using their world-class supercomputer to learn more about the chaotic chemical reactions that occur in the coal gasification process—knowledge that can lead to cleaner, more efficient, and more economical use of coal.

Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About the National Energy Technology Laboratory
June 13, 2014
This article is part of the series highlighting the "Top Things You Didn’t Know About…" Be sure to check back for more entries soon.

DOE Pens New Agreement with Southern Company to Test Advanced Carbon-Capture and Gasification Technologies
June 12, 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has signed a new 5-year cooperative agreement with Southern Company to evaluate advanced carbon-capture and gasification technologies at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Wilsonville, Ala.

NETL, Pennsylvania DEP Data-Sharing Agreement to Address State’s Abandoned Wells
June 05, 2014

The Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have entered into a new data-sharing agreement that promises to improve methods of locating abandoned oil and gas wells. The Pa. DEP is engaged in an ongoing effort to discover and seal abandoned wells in Pennsylvania, while NETL has developed survey techniques that make it easier to find such wells. The data-sharing agreement will allow for research results to quickly benefit the Commonwealth and will provide NETL with a greater ability to assess the effectiveness of its survey technologies.

Power Storage Project Breaks New Ground in Smart Grid Renewable Energy Integration
June 03, 2014
An award-winning energy-storage project in Texas managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is demonstrating the effectiveness of using advanced lead–acid batteries to store power generated by a wind farm for more effective power grid management—solid progress in the nation’s drive toward smart grid evolution.

DOE-Sponsored Project Shows Huge Potential for Carbon Storage in Wyoming
June 03, 2014

The Wyoming Rock Springs Uplift could potentially store 14 to 17 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2, according to results from a Department of Energy-sponsored study. This is equal to 250 to 300 years’ worth of CO2 emissions produced by the Wyoming’s coal-fired power plants and other large regional anthropogenic CO2 sources at current emission levels.

Preparing the Next Generation Workforce for 21st Century Smart Grid Success
June 02, 2014
The interconnected electric power system that the National Academy of Engineering recognized as the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century is undergoing a major upgrade to 21st century functionality. A combination of sophisticated sensors, communications, and computing innovations help make this possible. Also needed—and one of the biggest challenges facing the transition—is having qualified people to make it happen and to keep it innovative.

How NETL Helps Key Universities Teach Tomorrow’s Smart Grid Experts About New Monitoring Tool
May 30, 2014
Upgrading the nation’s interconnected system of electricity production and transmission to improve reliability, security, and economy requires innovative solutions and highly qualified professionals to operate and maintain new smart grid technologies. NETL is playing an important role in both grid improvements and workforce development.

How Four NETL-Managed Projects are Improving the Nation’s Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
May 29, 2014
Four smart grid projects managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) are improving the infrastructure needed for charging electric vehicles—work that will reduce petroleum dependence, enhance environmental stewardship, and improve economic growth through job creation.

Four Researchers from NETL-Led Grid Technologies Collaborative Recognized with Prestigious Awards
May 29, 2014

Four researchers who are part of a National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) team focused on improving the nation’s aging electric power system have been recognized over the past year with awards for their work on smart grid initiatives.

Smart Grid Tool Helps Utility Companies Make Smart Decisions
May 28, 2014

Transforming the nation’s aging power grid—the interconnected system of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution—into a reliable smart grid that bolsters national security, improves emissions, and fuels a growing economy requires utility company leaders to make complex business and technology decisions. The Energy Department is providing assistance to navigate those challenges.

How the National Labs Help Us Understand the Inner Workings of Power Plants
May 27, 2014
From discovering subatomic particles to developing protective coatings for airplanes, our National Labs are constantly making advancements in research and development. This week, the National Energy Technology Lab held an open project review meeting to show the public exactly what they’re working on right now.

Elusive High-Speed Particles Caught on Video
April 30, 2014

To improve the efficiency and environmental performance of fossil fuel–based energy production, researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have developed high-speed imaging systems—comprising both video and accompanying software—that allow researchers to see and analyze particle motion in great detail, deep inside fast-moving flow fields.

NETL Nanotechnology May Make Life Easier for Diabetics
April 29, 2014

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory and the University of Pittsburgh have developed a hybrid nanostructure with a unique sensitivity to acetone that has the potential to easily and non-invasively monitor blood sugar.

NETL’s Nanometer-Sized Heaters Use Sunlight to Convert CO2
April 29, 2014

A team of scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory and West Virginia University has developed new nano-sized materials capable of converting visible light into thermal energy, which can then be used to drive the conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to methane, carbon monoxide, and other usable gases.

Unconventional Oil and Gas Projects Help Reduce Environmental Impact of Development
April 17, 2014

Since the first commercial oil well was drilled in the United States in 1859, most of the nation’s oil and natural gas has come from reservoirs from which the resources are relatively easy to extract. As these "conventional" reservoirs become harder to find, however, we are turning to oil and natural gas in shale or other less-permeable geologic formations, which do not readily release the hydrocarbons. These "unconventional" reservoirs require additional engineering measures, such as hydraulic fracturing, to improve reservoir quality and enable them to produce oil and gas at commercially viable rates.

NETL-Regional University Alliance Researcher to Receive Nation’s Highest Award for Young Scientists
April 14, 2014

Dr. Brian Anderson, a research fellow of the NETL-Regional University Alliance and associate professor of chemical engineering at West Virginia University, was recognized during a special event at U.S. Department of Energy Headquarters April 14 for receiving the highest honor the U.S. government can bestow on an outstanding scientist in the early stages of his research career.

DOE Marks Major Milestone with Startup of Recovery Act Demonstration Project
April 09, 2014

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy joined RTI International (RTI) and Tampa Electric Company (TECO) to celebrate the successful startup of a pilot project to demonstrate a warm gas cleanup carbon capture technology in a coal gasification unit at the TECO Polk Power Station near Tampa, Fla. The project, which is approximately $3 million under budget, included $168 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

NETL-Led Laboratory-Industry-Academia Collaboration Is Accelerating Carbon-Capture Technologies
April 01, 2014

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) established the Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative (CCSI) to take carbon-capture concepts from the laboratory to the power plant more quickly, at a lower cost, and with reduced risk than would be accomplished following more traditional research and development pathways. Today, the NETL-led CCSI has proven itself to be a model of successful, effective collaboration among government, industry, and academia. 

Fossil Energy’s Advanced Combustion RD Seeks Innovative Ways to Lower Cost of Capturing Carbon Emissions from Coal Fired Power Plants
March 27, 2014

You’ve probably heard about carbon capture and storage (CCS), a suite of technologies designed to capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants and industrial sources.  Because CCS can be applied to existing and new coal-fired power plants to help them burn cleaner, it’s a big part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and his all-of-the-above energy strategy.


NETL Researchers Reap 15 New Patents in 2013
March 19, 2014
Just as the nation’s farmers sow, nurture, and ultimately harvest the results of their labor, scientists and engineers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) can take pride when their own processes or products are ripe for patents recognizing their efforts. During 2013, 15 tools, techniques, and technologies developed by NETL researchers were recognized for their exclusivity and uniqueness by receiving patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

FE’s Ultra-Deepwater Program focuses on spill prevention, safety and environmental stewardship
March 06, 2014

Nearly everyone recognizes that prudent development of domestic oil and natural gas resources will continue to be an important part of U.S. energy strategy for decades to come.  How important depends a lot on conducting operations responsibly, ensuring communities are safe and the environment protected as the nation maximizes use of this vital domestic energy resource.

Cleantech: Innovative Lab Partnership Reduces Emissions from Coal
January 30, 2014

As the United States transitions to cleaner, greener sources of power, the Energy Department is investing in technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from burning the fossil fuels that many areas of our country still rely upon. Recently, the National Energy Technology Laboratory partnered with Great River Energy to increase operating efficiencies and reduce the emission of pollutants at the company's Coal Creek Station in North Dakota using a new fuel enhancement system called DryFining™.

The Energy Department Seeks Your Novel Ideas for Advanced Energy Systems
January 07, 2014
Do you care about power and our environment? Are you buzzing with innovative ideas? If so, the Energy Department wants to hear your new and creative concepts for improving the cost and performance of power or industrial systems that depend on fossil energy.

Celebrating a Decade of Carbon Storage Research Through Partnership
January 07, 2014

For the past decade, the Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory has managed a nationwide network of partnerships that team government, industry, academia, and nonprofit organizations to identify the best approaches for permanently storing CO2 in deep geologic formations.

Uncovering Coal's Secrets Through the University Coal Research Program
January 06, 2014

The challenges confronting the environmentally sound use of our country’s fossil energy resources are best addressed through collaborative research and development. That’s why this approach, which stretches federal dollars, is at the heart of the Office of Fossil Energy’s University Coal Research (UCR) Program.