The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced 32 winners which will each be granted a share of $56.5 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects for advanced coal technologies and research under six separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs).
The projects further demonstrate the DoE’s commitment to strengthening clean coal technologies and cover a range of topics, including carbon capture, utilisation, and storage; rare earth element recovery; coal to products; crosscutting coal R&D; steam turbine efficiency; and advanced materials.
“The Department of Energy is committed to advancing technologies that will allow us to meet our energy needs in an environmentally responsible way,” said US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
“We will continue our commitment to investing in research, development, and demonstration initiatives to drive these innovative clean coal technologies forward.”
“We are excited about the transformative potential of these projects. Advancing this coal R&D is paving the way for future technology innovation and integration,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg.
The first funding opportunity award is for $10 million for ten projects under DE-FOA-0001992, Maximising the Coal Value Chain. The projects will develop innovative uses of domestic coal for upgraded coal-based feedstocks used to produce power and make steel, and for producing high-value products from coal or coal by-products—ultimately creating new market opportunities for coal.
The second funding opportunity award is for $11.9 million under DE-FOA-0001996, Advancing Steam Turbines for Coal Boilers. The two projects selected under this FOA seek to improve the performance of steam-based power cycles, resulting in lower-cost electricity with reduced emissions per megawatt-hour from coal-fueled boilers.
The third funding opportunity award is for $9.3 million for ten projects under DE-FOA-0002001, Crosscutting Research for Coal-Fueled Power Plants. Selected projects will develop innovative technologies that enhance the performance and economics of the existing and future coal fleet—thereby lowering electricity costs for consumers. This effort supports DOE’s Crosscutting Research Program, which develops technologies that can be applied to a range of fossil energy uses.
The fourth funding opportunity award is for $5 million under DE-FOA-0002002, Advanced Materials for High-Efficiency, Flexible and Reliable Coal-Fueled Power Plants. The department selected five projects to support its Crosscutting Research program, which fosters the development and deployment of innovative systems for improving efficiency and environmental performance. The projects focus on enhancing the cyclic durability and reducing the cost of materials used in advanced ultra-supercritical (AUSC) power plants.
In the fifth funding opportunity award, three projects were selected to receive up to $15 million under DE-FOA-0002003, Process Scale-Up and Optimisation/Efficiency Improvements for Rare Earth Elements (REE) and Critical Materials (CM) Recovery from United States Coal-Based Resources. The selected projects will support DOE’s Feasibility of Recovering REEs program and will advance technology development for recovery of REE and CM from domestic coal-based resources via conventional extraction, separation, and recovery processes.
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Finally, through the sixth funding opportunity award, two projects were selected to receive $5.3 million under DE-FOA-0001998, Transformational Sensing Systems for Monitoring the Deep Subsurface. This award seeks to reduce uncertainty of and enable real-time decision-making associated with subsurface carbon dioxide (CO2) storage.
The selected projects support DOE’s Carbon Storage Research Program by improving characterisation and prediction of subsurface fluid movement and enhancing the real-time measurement of critical subsurface properties.