Collaboration with NETL a Key Component of UCFER

UCFER meeting participants networking.

The University Coalition for Fossil Energy Research was established to advance basic and applied fossil energy research thorough mechanisms that promote collaboration among the Department of Energy and the universities that are members of the Coalition through the coordination of research and the sharing of data. In addition to regularly-scheduled discussions with their National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) collaborators, the following examples of collaboration between NETL and the UCFER projects as reported by the principal investigators. For projects that have only recently started, anticipated collaborative efforts have been listed.

Round One Projects

Shunde Yin, University of WyomingA Low-Cost Technique for in-Situ Stresses and Geomechanical Properties Measurement Based on Leak-Off and Caliper Logs

  • NETL personnel including Bob McLendon (NETL point-of-contact), Mark McKoy, Dustin Crandall, Robert Vagnetti, Igor Haljasmaa, and Richard Spaulding provided field data, Marcellus Shale core samples, and performed laboratory testing.

Michael Hickner, Penn StateEfficient Reduction of CO2 in a Bipolar Membrane-based Electrochemical Cell

  • Discussions were held with Chris Matranga (NETL point-of-contact), Doug Kauffman and David Lang from NETL on cell testing.
  • NETL provided a number of NETL-synthesized catalysts that Penn State tested to compare half cell and full cell results to determine how to best design catalysts for gas-fed CO2 reduction cells.

Behnam Jafarpour, University of Southern CaliforniaA Novel Point Process Paradigm for Stochastic Modeling and Inversion of Microseismic Monitoring Data for CO2 Storage

  • Collaborators include Richard Hammack (NETL point-of-contact), Nicolas Huerta, Kelly Rose and Jennifer Bauer to develop the proposed workflows.
  • USC researchers discussed their coupled flow and geomechanics modeling with their NETL collaborators to refine the modeling assumptions and the input rock properties into the model.
  • The issues around various sources of uncertainty in acquiring and processing microseismic data and how our probabilistic approach should account for these sources of uncertainty were discussed.
  • Relevant papers by the NETL research team were used in developing the USC stochastic microseismic prediction approach.

“This collaboration has been very helpful in ensuring that the assumptions made in developing our framework are close to realistic settings.” Behnam Jafarpour, University of Southern California


Ahmed Ghoniem, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUncertainty Quantification in Multiphase Gas-Solid Flow Simulations

  • NETL point-of-contact is Chris Guenther
  • Extensive collaboration with the Validation, Verification, and Uncertainty Quantification (VVUQ) team at NETL Morgantown, West Virginia.
  • Visits to NETL Morgantown for conducing experiments on an in-house fluidized-bed facility.
  • Exchange of simulation and post-processing software.
  • Collaboration has been pivotal toward the design of small-scale fluidized-bed experiments at NETL’s Morgantown campus, which will provide important data for the MFiX code validation and scale-up.

Fred Aminzadeh, University of Southern CaliforniaIntegration of Geophysical and Geomechanical Modeling to Monitor Integrity of Carbon Storage

  • NETL is providing access to lab facilities including Autolab 1500, SEM, and Raman Spectrometer. Rick Hammack is the project’s NETL point-of-contact.

Bruce Koel, Princeton UniversityConverting CO2 and Methane to Fuels by Enhanced Plasmonic Effects in a Nanotemplated Catalyst Plasma Reactor

  • Once Princeton University researchers have successfully demonstrated initial results for the novel plasma reactor using nanotemplated catalyst supports and find high performance catalysts and parameters for the RF nanodischarge, they will supply nanocatalysts to NETL scientists along with participating in further testing reactor performance in the larger scale microwave reactor facility at NETL.
  • Collaborating with NETL scientists will also be helpful to advance this technology.
  • NETL point-of-contact is Christopher Matranga.

Round Two Projects

Benjamin Wilhite, Texas A&M UniversityLayer-by-Layer Functional Thin Film Coatings for Enhanced Light Gas Separations

  • Through discussions with NETL scientists David Hopkinson (NETL point-of-contact), Surendar Venna, Victor Kusuma and Fangming Xiang, candidate substrates of interest have been identified for testing.
  • NETL has provided hollow-fiber substrates that will be used for testing the layer-by-layer coating procedure and subsequent gas separation measurements.

Michael Hickner, Penn StateDesigning Polymer/2D MOF Composite Membranes with Enhanced CO2 Transport for CO2/N2 Separation

  • Initial discussions have been held with David Hopkinson (NETL point-of-contact), Surendar Venna, Janice Steckel and Victor Kusuma on topics including state-of-the-art membrane performance, NETL materials, modeling approaches and potential testing with flue gas.
  • Future meetings have been set including a modeling meeting and a presentation of Penn State’s project at a NETL group meeting.
  • Plans have been made to send champion samples from Penn State to NETL for testing.

Richard Yetter, Penn StateFundamental Studies on the Reaction Mechanisms of Oxygen Carriers for CLC/CLOU with Solid Fuels

  • Discussions were held with NETL researcher Dan Sorescu to discuss NETL’s use of microwave concepts to accelerate metal oxide surface chemistry. As a result, Penn State is currently evaluatng if the concept can be introduced into their experimental and simulation projects.
  • Discussions have been held with NETL researcher Ronald Breault on possible joint collaboration on fixed-bed reactor studies.
  • NETL point-of-contact is Doug Straub

Eric Petersen, Texas A&M UniversityValidation of CFD Models for Turbulent, Supercritical CO2 Combustion

  • NETL scientists at the Computational Science & Engineering Directorate will play a key role in the proposed effort, as they will provide the expertise and the tools (i.e., software) for conducting numerical simulations of the experimental TAMU flame speed results.
  • NETL point-of-contact is Chris Guenther.

Sarma Pisupati, Penn StateEvaluation of Agglomeration Potential of Oxygen Carriers for Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC) and Chemical Looping with Oxygen Uncoupled (CLOU)

  • Discuss results of literature review with NETL and obtain input from NETL for final selection of oxygen carriers.
  • The simulation results will be evaluated through discussions with NETL experts, which will be followed by validating the modeling predictions through experimental testing.
  • In consultation with NETL, perform simulations of select coals in the presence of ash to study the interaction of the selected oxygen carrier with fuel ash on agglomeration potential.
  • NETL will assist in identifying modifications, if needed, to Penn State’s agglomeration modeling to match experimental results.
  • NETL point-of-contact is Chris Guenther.

Nino Ripepi, Virginia TechMethane Emissions Quantification (MEQ) of Compressor Stations

  • VT will be provided access to NETL’s FLIR infrared camera and methane analyzers and NETL’s mobile air monitoring laboratory for a 30-day monitoring campaign.
  • NETL will assist in field work, data analysis and reporting.
  • NETL point-of-contact is Natalie Pekney.