EIA expects 7% increase in US energy-sector CO2 emissions as economic activity increases during 2021

Increased economic activity and a changing fuel mix in the electric power sector in 2021 will lead to a significant increase in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions this year, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) August Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). After decreasing by 11% in 2020, US energy-related CO2... Read more →


Renewables are expanding quickly but not enough to satisfy a strong rebound in global electricity demand this year, resulting in a sharp rise in the use of coal power that risks pushing carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector to record levels next year, according to a new report from... Read more →


In Japan, JERA and IHI Corporation will conduct a demonstration project under the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization’s “Development of Technologies for Carbon Recycling and Next-Generation Thermal Power Generation / Research, Development and Demonstration of Technologies for Ammonia Co-Firing Thermal Power Generation” program. This will be the world’s... Read more →


MP Materials has received a $3-million award from the Department of Energy (DOE) to complete a feasibility study, working with the University of Kentucky (UK), on a system to produce rare earth oxides, metals, and other critical materials recovered from coal by-products. This project is enabled by a DOE-exercised option... Read more →


TMRC consortium awarded second phase of DOE contract targeting production of mixed rare earth oxides from PA coal waste

Texas Mineral Resources Corp. (TMRC), an exploration company targeting the heavy rare earths and a variety of other high-value critical elements and industrial minerals, announced that the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technical Laboratory (NETL) has selected a TMRC-led consortium to continue a contract targeting the production of rare... Read more →


ARPA-E announces $35M for technologies to reduce methane emissions

ARPA-E announced up to $35 million for a new program focused on developing technologies to reduce methane emissions in the oil, gas, and coal industries: “Reducing Emissions of Methane Every Day of the Year” (REMEDY) (DE-FOA-0002504). The REMEDY program seeks highly replicable system-level technical solutions that achieve an overall methane... Read more →


Study finds methane emissions from coal mines ~50% higher than previously thought

The amount of methane released into the atmosphere as a result of coal mining is likely approximately 50% higher than previously estimated, according to research presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. The research was done by a team at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific... Read more →


DOE to award $28.35M for R&D on advanced processing of rare earth elements and critical minerals from coal-based resources

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced $28.35 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under the Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0002404, Advanced Processing of Rare Earth Elements and Critical Minerals for Industrial and Manufacturing Applications. The US imports more than half... Read more →


DOE to award $160M to improve fossil-based hydrogen production, transport, storage, and utilization

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) plans to make $160 million in federal funding (DE-FOA-0002400) available to help recalibrate the US’ vast fossil-fuel and power infrastructure for decarbonized energy and commodity production. The funding, for cost-shared cooperative agreements, is aimed to develop technologies for the... Read more →


NETL to award $13M to GTI and partners to advance carbon capture technology

GTI and partners, The Ohio State University, Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC), and Trimeric Corporation (Trimeric), have been selected for award on a project to advance Ohio State’s transformational membrane technology to provide step-out reductions in CO2 capture cost and energy penalties. The US Department of Energy National Energy Technology... Read more →


DOE Coal FIRST Initiative invests $80M in net-zero carbon electricity and hydrogen plants

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has selected four projects for cost-shared research and development under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA), DE-FOA-0002180, Design Development and System Integration Design Studies for Coal FIRST Concepts. When fully negotiated and awarded, it is estimated that approximately $80 million... Read more →


DOE awards $1.95M for conceptual designs that extract critical minerals and rare earth elements from coal sources

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy selected 13 projects to receive approximately $1.95 million in federal funding to develop conceptual designs of commercially viable technologies that will extract rare earth elements (REEs) from US coal and coal by-product sources. Each project will receive up to $150,000... Read more →


DOE to award $30M to develop small-scale solid oxide fuel cell systems and hybrid energy systems

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced up to $30 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under a funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0002300) for Small-Scale Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Systems and Hybrid Energy Systems. This FOA seeks to develop advanced technologies... Read more →


A comprehensive three-year scientific study into the air, water and soil impacts of hydraulic fracturing (HF) in coal seam gas (CSG) in Queensland, Australia has found little to no impacts on air quality, soils, groundwater and waterways. The study also found current water treatment technology used for treating water produced... Read more →


by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. Battery electric vehicles are only as clean as the energy source used to generate the electricity that powers them. The calculated relative amounts of well-to-wheels emissions of greenhouse gases from eight different energy sources are shown in the table below. (The calculations were based... Read more →


The Intermountain Power Agency (IPA) has awarded Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) a contract for two M501JAC power trains for the Intermountain Power Plant (IPP) in Delta, Utah. (Earlier post.) This award marks the first Advanced Class Gas Turbines in the industry specifically designed and purchased as part of a... Read more →


Rare earth elements (REEs) are vital materials for modern technologies. The US National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is collaborating with the University of Kentucky and their subcontractor Virginia Tech to demonstrate a novel process for the extraction of REEs from coal using plasma. REEs, which represent the 15 elements of... Read more →


DOE announces $64M for research into future coal power plants

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $64 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects under the funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0002057), “Critical Components for Coal FIRST Power Plants of the Future.” DOE’s Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) initiative is intended to develop... Read more →


New investment in wind, solar, and other clean energy projects in developing nations dropped sharply in 2018, largely due to a slowdown in China. While the number of new clean power-generating plants completed stayed flat year-to-year, the volume of power derived from coal surged to a new high, according to... Read more →


DOE awards $56.5M to 32 coal technology projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $56.5 million in federal funding to 32 cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects for advanced coal technologies and research under six separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). The projects cover a range of topics, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage; rare earth element... Read more →


DOE to award up to $100M for future coal plants in Coal FIRST initiative

The US Department of Energy (DOE) intends to provide up to $100 million in awards (DE-FOA-0002116) for the Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, and Transformative) initiative (announced in November 2018), which aims to develop coal plants of the future that will provide secure, stable, reliable power with near-zero emissions.... Read more →


Although Germany, the UK, US, Canada and Ukraine are phasing out domestic coal production capacity, expansion of production capacity in countries such as India and Indonesia is predicted to generate modest annual growth of 1.3% in coal production over the next four years, with output reaching 7.6 billion tonnes in... Read more →


New catalyst opens door to CO2 capture in coal-to-liquids process

World energy consumption projections expect coal to stay one of the world’s main energy sources in the coming decades, and a growing share of it will be used in CT—the conversion of coal to liquid fuels (CTL). Researchers from the National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy in Beijing and Eindhoven University... Read more →


West Virginia University (WVU) researchers are opening a new facility to capture rare earth elements (REEs) from acid mine drainage (AMD) from coal mining. Through a collaborative research and development program with the US Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), WVU is opening the Rare Earth Extraction... Read more →


Bloomberg NEF forecasts falling battery prices enabling surge in wind and solar to 50% of global generation by 2050

Wind and solar power generation will surge to almost 50% of world generation by 2050 (“50 by 50”), supported by precipitous reductions in cost, and the advent of cheaper and cheaper batteries that will enable electricity to be stored and discharged to meet shifts in demand and supply, according to... Read more →


The Australian, Japanese and Victorian governments and a consortium of companies have launched the pilot of an innovative supply chain that will deliver liquefied hydrogen from the Latrobe Valley in Australia to Japan. The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project will convert brown coal from the AGL Loy Yang mine... Read more →


DOE awarding $6.5M to 9 large-scale Phase I pilot coal projects

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have selected nine projects to receive approximately $6.5 million in federal funding for Phase I of the Fossil Fuel Large-Scale Pilots funding opportunity announcement (FOA). This FOA, issued in August 2017, is... Read more →


Four rare earth elements (REEs) recovery projects managed by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) (earlier post) have made significant progress in the development of a domestic supply of REEs from coal and coal by-products by successfully producing REE... Read more →


Air Products to acquire Shell’s coal gasification technology business and patent portfolio for liquids (residue) gasification; coal-to-fuels in China

Air Products will acquire Royal Dutch Shell’s Coal Gasification Technology business as well as Shell’s patent portfolio for Liquids (Residue) Gasification. Financial terms are not being disclosed, and the acquisition is expected to close in the coming months. As a leading industrial gas company, Air Products has extended its onsite... Read more →


OSU team developing chemical looping technology to convert fossil fuels and biomass to syngas while consuming CO2

Engineers at The Ohio State University are developing technologies that have the potential to convert fossil fuels and biomass economically into syngas for conversion into useful products including methanol, gasoline and electricity without emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. In the first of two papers published in the journal Energy... Read more →


India is the third-largest steel producer in the world after China and Japan, having surpassed other large steel-making countries such as the United States, Russia, and South Korea over the previous decade, according to the World Steel Association. In 2016, about 57% of India’s steel was produced using electric-based methods—the... Read more →


DOE Lab, partners find high concentrations of rare earth elements in American coal basins

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has found high rare earth element (REE) concentrations in coal samples taken from the Illinois, Northern Appalachian, Central Appalachian, Rocky Mountain Coal Basins, and the Pennsylvania Anthracite region. These highly concentrated samples are greater than 300 parts per million... Read more →


Although China and India remain the world’s largest consumers of coal, a new University of Maryland-led study found that China’s sulfur dioxide emissions fell by 75% since 2007, while India’s emissions increased by 50%. The results suggest that India is becoming, if it is not already, the world’s top sulfur... Read more →


DOE to award up to $36M for design and testing of advanced carbon capture technologies for coal-fired power generation

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $36 million (DE-FOA-0001791) to continue the development of carbon capture technologies to either the engineering scale or to a commercial design, with an eye to reducing fossil fuel power plant emissions. DOE is currently targeting transformational technologies that by 2030... Read more →


DOE invests $17.4M in projects to advance recovery of rare earth elements from coal and coal byproducts

The US Department of Energy (DOE) selected four projects to move on to a second phase of research in their efforts to advance recovery of rare earth elements (REE) from coal and coal byproducts. (Earlier post.) DOE will invest $17.4 million to develop and test REE recovery systems originally selected... Read more →


Coal-tar-based pavement sealant a major source of PAH contamination in Milwaukee streams

Runoff from pavement with coal-tar-based sealant is the primary source of toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to streambed sediments in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to a US Geological Survey and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District open-access study published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Pavement sealant is a black, shiny liquid... Read more →


At CES 2017, Honda will showcase what it calls a future technology path toward a redefined mobility experience. The exhibit will include the NeuV, a concept automated EV commuter vehicle equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) called the “emotion engine” that creates new possibilities for human interaction and new value for... Read more →


Global carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels did not grow in 2015 and are projected to rise only slightly in 2016, marking three years of almost no growth, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Global Carbon Project. Decreased use of coal in China is... Read more →


2010 and 2015 LCOE ranges for solar and wind technologies. Source: IEA/NEA. Click to enlarge. The cost of producing electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar has been falling for several years. A new report, a joint project by the International Energy Agency and the Nuclear Energy Agency,... Read more →


The EMS (Earth and Mineral Science) Energy Institute at Penn State has developed a conceptual novel process configuration for producing clean middle-distillate fuels from coal with some algal input with minimal emissions. The Institute was involved for about 20 years in a project intended to develop a coal-derived jet fuel;... Read more →


DOE selects 7 gasification projects for funding; focus on reducing cost of coal conversion

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has selected seven projects to receive funding through NETL’s Gasification System Program. This program supports a wide range of research and development activities aimed at improving fuel and product versatility, efficiency, and economics of gasification processes. The projects conducted through... Read more →


DOE selects 16 research projects for more than $19M in funding to advance Solid Oxide Fuel Cell technology

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has selected 16 solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology research projects for a total of more than $19 million ($19,358,915) in funding. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, NETL issued two funding opportunities announcements (FOAs) to support programs that enable the... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0001202) that will award an estimated $20 million to projects quickly to develop bench scale and pilot scale projects for recovering Rare Earth Elements (REE)—a set of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table and key components of electronics... Read more →


Kyoto team develops two-stage process for direct liquefaction of low-rank coal and biomass under mild conditions

Researchers at Kyoto University in Japan have proposed a novel two-stage process to convert low-rank coals or biomass wastes under mild conditions to high-quality liquid fuel. A paper describing the process, which combines a degradative solvent extraction method they had developed earlier with the liquefaction of the resulting soluble, appears... Read more →


China’s shift toward alternative fuels in order to cut its reliance on imported oil is creating large opportunities, notably in natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and in the conversion of coal to ethanol, according to a new report from Lux Research. China is seeking to reduce its imports of oil from... Read more →


DOE awarding about $16M to four projects for advanced gasification systems; focus on coal

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected four projects to receive funding for next-generation gasification systems. Awardees will receive approximately $16 million to advance the gasification process, which converts carbon-based materials such as coal into syngas for use as power, chemicals, hydrogen, and transportation fuels. Gasification plants have the... Read more →


Preparation procedure for the BN-GQD/G nanocomposite. Credit: ACS, Fei et al. Click to enlarge. A team at Rice University has created a hybrid material combining graphene quantum dots (GQDs) and graphene platelets that can—depending upon its formulation—outperform platinum as a catalyst for fuel cells. The material showed an oxygen reduction... Read more →


DOE to award $9M to promote consensus on future fossil energy technologies

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy will award $9 million over five years to organizations to assist it in building domestic and international consensus on future fossil energy technologies (DE-FOA-0001111). The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) anticipates two awards being made: the first for $7 million in... Read more →


Click to enlarge. In its sixth sales-weighted analysis of emissions from 8 major automakers’ 2013 model year vehicles, the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) latest Automaker Rankings report found that Hyundai-Kia unseated Honda as the “Greenest Automaker.” Honda came in second, with Toyota, Nissan, and Volkswagen in a three-way tie... Read more →


DOE soliciting projects in advanced coal gasification for high carbon-capture power production and/or liquid fuels

The US DOE is soliciting (DE-FOA-0001051) projects for up to $10 million in awards to target technological advancements to lower the cost of producing hydrogen and/or high-hydrogen syngas from coal for use in 90% carbon capture power generation and/or gasification-based liquid (transportation) fuel production: methanol or diesel. Liquid fuel production... Read more →