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US DOE Funding Methanol Carbon Capture Project (Ind. Report)
Southern California Gas ,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Date: 2019-11-27
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and the Richland, Washington-based US DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are reporting receipt of $300,000 in US DOE funding to design, fabricate and demonstrate a modular Integrated CO2 Capture and Conversion to Methanol (ICCCM) prototype for the combined capture and conversion of CO2 into methanol at an industrial CO2 source -- electric generation or anaerobic digestion facility.

Over the next two years, the project will evaluate the compatibility of certain catalysts and solvents, design and build and test a reactor a project that would advance the development of Integrated CO2 Capture and Conversion to Methanol (ICCCM). SoCalGas has spent more than $10 million on the research and development of low or zero carbon technologies in the last three years. (Source: SoCalGas, Energy Global, 26 Nov., 2019) Contact: SoCalGas, Yuri Freedman, Senior Director of Business Development,; PNNL, Dr. David Heldebrant,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methanol,  Carbon Capture,  ,  Southern California Gas ,  Methanol,  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,  

DOE Awards $2Mn for Performance Computing Energy Efficiency (Funding)
Date: 2019-07-29
In Washington, the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) reports it has awarded $2 million in funding for seven new high performance computing projects, as part of the High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Initiative.

The initiative is a DOE-wide effort comprising EERE, the Office of Fossil Energy (FE), the Office of Science, and the National Laboratories. The initiative helps to leverage the National Laboratories' high performance computing capabilities to address challenges in manufacturing and materials through state-of-the-art modeling, simulation, and data analysis. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) leads the HPC4EI program along with partner laboratories Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest and Sandia National Laboratories, as well as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and National Energy Technology Laboratory. Funded projects include:

  • NYC-based Ferric, Inc. will partner with LLNL to develop analytical tools that will combine traditional electromagnetic finite-element analysis with micromagnetic simulation.

  • Applied Materials in Sunnyvale, Calif. will continue to work with LLNL on Phase II of developing predictive modeling capabilities for the advanced film deposition technique, High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering.

  • Gas Technology Institute in Des Plaines, Ill., Gopher Resource, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will partner to use high performance computing to increase the productivity of secondary lead furnaces.

  • Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman Chemical will collaborate with Argonne National Laboratory on developing open-source software-based models of a gas atomizer based on ongoing work being performed at Eastman.

  • Praxair Surface Technologies Inc. in Indianapolis will work with Ames National Laboratory to enhance the efficiency of metal powder production for additive manufacturing applications.

    Within the High Performance Computing for Materials (HPC4Mtls) Program, EERE's Vehicle Technologies Office has selected two projects:

  • PPG Industries will collaborate with LLNL and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to apply classical molecular dynamics simulations and density functional tight-binding calculations.

  • AK Steel in Middletown, Ohio will collaborate with ORNL on thermo-mechanical forming process development to produce tailored strength automotive structural components. The Office of Fossil Energy selected two additional HPC4Mtls projects to support. Industry partners provide at least 20 pct of the funding for new projects. (Source:DOE EERE, PR, EIN,July, 2019) Contact: US DOE,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE EERE,  Energy Efficiency,  

  • PNNL Seeking Algae Bioenergy, Biofuel Collaborations (Ind Report)
    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    Date: 2019-02-20
    The U.S. DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) reports it is seeking algae industry partners and academic researchers to help find the best algae strains for biofuels and bioproducts to reduce the cost of producing bioenergy from algae feedstocks.

    PNNL leads the Development of Integrated Screening, Cultivar Optimization and Verification (DISCOVR) project that employs the unique complementary capabilities of the four participating national laboratories -- Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratorie -- sand the outdoor testbed at the Arizona Center for Algal Technology and Innovation to identify and test high productivity microalgae strains for year-round outdoor cultivation. The goal is to provide a framework to accelerate meeting DOE's advanced biofuel goals with microalgae.

    "A key cost driver for algae biofuels is productivity, which is directly tied to which algae strain is chosen and how it's cultivated," said Taraka Dale, a scientist at LANL. "By collaborating with industry and academia, we aim to bring together the best of the best strains and cultivation strategies to rapidly boost productivity and reduce costs."

    "So far, we have tested more than 40 new microalgae strains and identified strains with up to 34 percent greater biomass productivity than benchmark strains," said Huesemann. "The success of the DISCOVR strain down selection and testing pipeline was demonstrated in 2018 by achieving more than 13 pct improvement in outdoor pond productivity relative to 2017, reducing the biomass selling price by about 10 pct."

    The goal of the call for collaboration is to solicit algae strains, tools and techniques from the algae community to further boost algae productivity. This call gives industry and academia an opportunity to partner with the four national laboratories in DISCOVR, as well as AzCATI. (Source: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, PR, Feb., 2019) Contact: PNNL, Michael Huesemann, DISCOVR Consortium leader,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Algae Biofuel,  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory ,  

    PNNL Planning Energy Sciences Research Bldg (Ind. Report)
    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    Date: 2019-01-24
    In Richland, Washington, the US DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) reports it will construct a new facility where scientists will conduct research that leads to more efficient energy and transportation technologies. Construction is slated to get underway in late 2019 or early 2020 for completion and occupancy in mid- or late 2021.

    The as yet unnamed research facility will be between 110,000 and 145,000 square feet in size and will house labs and workstations for approximately 175 PNNL and visiting scientists, engineers and research support staff.

    "Breakthrough research conducted here may lead to reduced vehicle emissions, more efficient fertilizer production and the ability to turn waste into fuels and products more efficiently and economically," PNNL Director Steven Ashby noted. (Source: PNNL, PR, 22 Jan., 2019) Contact: PNNL, Steven Ashby, Dir.,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News PNNL,  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory ,  

    DOE Selects Pumped Storage Projects for Study (Ind. Report)
    US DOE, Energy STorage
    Date: 2018-12-05
    In Washington, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced selections for its Notice of Opportunity for Technical Assistance (NOTA) to perform techno-economic studies to evaluate the long-term value of two selected pumped-storage hydropower (PSH) projects. While PSH projects were initially built to balance the electricity system between period of high demand during the day and low demand at night, increases in variable renewable generation have changed how plants are operated and the value they provide to the grid. For example, instead of generating during the day and pumping at night, many plants now change operational modes multiple times per day and are relied on to provide quick ramping or frequency response.

    Determining the value of PSH under these changing grid conditions is a significant challenge that requires new modeling tools and analysis. These studies will provide PSH developers with improved capabilities to estimate the value of a proposed PSH project and compare financial revenue streams under current market structures relative to the economic value of PSH projects to the grid.

    The techno-economic studies for the two selected projects will be carried out by a Technical Assistance team comprising subject matter experts from the following DOE national laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

    The studies will support a larger multi-year research strategy to define the capabilities and estimate the value that hydropower and PSH resources contribute to electric grid resilience and reliability and how those contributions could be optimized for a rapidly evolving grid.

    The Technical Assistance team has developed draft guidance -- a step-by-step methodology that can be used by PSH developers, plant owners and operators, and other stakeholders to assess the economic value of existing or planned PSH projects. The methodology will be applied at the two sites below to evaluate and demonstrate the potential economic and financial value of the proposed projects. Through these studies, the team will test and refine the valuation guidance, after which the guidance and valuation tools will be made publicly available for use by the hydropower industry.

    GridAmerica Holdings' proposed Goldendale project would be located on the border of Oregon and Washington at the northern terminus of the Pacific AC and DC intertie transmission lines. This project, if constructed, could facilitate the storage and export of the growing amount of wind energy available in the Northwest to nearby states.

    Absaroka Energy's proposed Banner Mountain project in central Wyoming along the proposed route of the Energy Gateway West 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission line, which would enable it to serve additional areas in the western and southwestern U.S.. Banner Mountain would be a closed-loop facility that would include three ternary units -- a PSH technology that enables rapid switching between generating and pumping modes -- for a total capacity of 400 MW.

    The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy supports research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to strengthen U.S. economic growth, energy security, and environmental quality. (Source: US DOE, Dec., 2018) Contact: EERE Water Power Technology Office,; OEERE,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy STorage,  Pumped Energy STorage,  

    DOE Releases 2017 Wind Market Reports (Ind. Reports Attached)
    US DOE
    Date: 2018-08-27
    The U.S. DOE's recently released three wind energy market reports for 2017 note that as wind installations continue across the country and offshore wind projects move beyond the planning process, technology costs and wind energy prices continue to fall. The reports cover land-based utility scale, distributed, and offshore wind. Highlights from 2017 reports prepared by DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory include:
  • The U.S. wind industry installed 7,017 MW of capacity last year, bringing total utility-scale wind capacity to nearly 89 GW:
  • In total, 41 states operated utility-scale wind projects. Texas leads the nation with over 22 GW of wind capacity, while Oklahoma, Iowa, California, and Kansas have more than 5,000 MW;
  • Another 13 states have more than 1,000 MW;
  • In 2017, wind energy contributed 6.3 pct of the nation's electricity supply, more than 10 pct of total generation in 14 states, and more than 30 pct in Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota;
  • Larger turbines with longer blades are enhancing wind plant performance. Wind projects built in the past few years have seen capacity factors increase by 79 pct compared to projects installed from 1998 to 2001;
  • The average installed cost of wind projects in 2017 was $1,611 per KW, down 33 pct from the peak in 2009 -- 2010:
  • The U.S. wind industry supported more than 105,000 jobs and saw $11 billion invested in new wind plants in 2017.

    A separate 2017 Distributed Wind Market Report, prepared by DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, highlights the following:

  • In total, U.S. wind turbines in distributed applications reached a cumulative installed capacity of 1,076 MW. This capacity comes from roughly 81,000 turbines installed across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam;
  • In 2017, Iowa, Ohio, and California led the nation in new distributed wind capacity installed as a result of large-scale turbines installed by commercial and industrial facilities and electricity distribution utilities;
  • 35 pct of distributed wind projects installed in 2017 were residential , and 25 pct were agricultural installations;
  • U.S. manufacturers of small wind turbines and their supply chain vendors are located in 27 states;
  • Between 2015 and 2017, U.S.-based small wind turbine manufacturers accounted for $226 million or more in export sales.

    A third report, the 2017 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Update, prepared by the DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory, found the following:

  • The U.S. offshore wind industry recently took a leap forward as commercial-scale projects were competitively selected in Massachusetts (800 MW), Rhode Island (400 MW), and Connecticut (200 MW);
  • New York, New Jersey, and Maryland also have offshore wind projects in the development pipeline;
  • The U.S. offshore wind project pipeline has reached a total of 25,464 MW of capacity across 13 states, including the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm commissioned in 2016;
  • In Europe -- where most offshore wind development has occurred to date -- recent offshore wind project auctions have continued the trend of developers committing to lower electricity prices for projects that will be operating in the 2020s;
  • New offshore wind turbines are being developed with 10 -- 12 mw of capacity (compared to an average capacity of 2.3 MW for land-based turbines and 5.3 MW for offshore wind turbines installed in 2017). As a result, demand is increasing for specialized ships that will be able to install these very large turbines in U.S. waters;
  • About 60 pct of the U.S. offshore wind resource lies in deep waters. Developing a project in deep waters requires wind turbines on floating foundations;
  • In the U.S., floating offshore wind projects have been proposed off the coasts of Maine, California, and Hawaii.

    Report details are HERE. (Source: DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office, Aug., 2018) Contact: DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office,  

  • PNNL, LanzaTech Delivering on Alcohol-to-Jet Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2018-06-15
    As previously reported, ASTM International has recently revised ASTM D7566 Annex A5 -- the Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons -- to add ethanol as an approved feedstock for producing alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK), clearing the way for increased adoption of sustainable aviation fuels produced from a variety of feedstocks.

    Supporting this advancement is technology from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), which developed a thermocatalytic process for converting ethanol into ATJ-SPK , and its industrial partner, LanzaTech and its proprietary gas-to-ethanol process. (Source: ASTM Green Car Congress, 12 June, 2018) Contact: LanzaTech, Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, (630) 439-3050,,; PNNL; ASTM International, (610) 832-9585, (877) 909-2782,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News PNNL,  LanzaTech,  ASTM,  Ethanol,  Aviation Biofuel,  

    NETL Offers Carbon Capture Simulation Software (New Prod & Tech)
    NETL,Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative
    Date: 2018-04-04
    The Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative (CCSI), led by the Office of Fossil Energy's (FE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), is reporting release of the CCSI Toolset as open source software.

    The CCSI Toolset is the nation's only suite of computational tools and models designed to help maximize learning and reduce cost and risk during the scale-up process for carbon capture technologies. The toolset is critically important to perform much of the design and calculations, thus reducing the cost of both pilot projects and commercial facilities.

    The release makes the toolset code available for researchers in industry, government, and academia to freely use, modify, and customize in support of the development of carbon capture technologies and other related technologies. The toolset is hosted on GitHub.

    The CCSI Toolset capabilities include: rapid computational screening; accelerated design & evaluation and; risk management support

    Led by NETL, CCSI leverages the the US DOE's National Laboratories' core strengths in modeling and simulation -- bringing together the best capabilities at NETL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. CCSI has more than 50 industrial partners representing the power generation industry, equipment manufacturers, technology providers, engineering and construction firms, and software vendors. Academic participants include Carnegie Mellon University, Princeton University, West Virginia University, Boston University, and the University of Texas.

    This critical work is being extended by the Carbon Capture Simulation for Industry Impact project, which is using the CCSI Toolset to support the scale up of second-generation capture technologies and the development of new transformational carbon capture systems through partnerships with technology developers. (Source: NETL, April, 2018) Contact: NETL,; Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NETL,  Carbon Capture,  Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative,  

    Colorado School of Mines Funded for Algal Biofuel R&D (R&D, Funding)
    Colorado School of Mines
    Date: 2018-01-05
    The Colorado School of Mines in Golden reports assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering Nanette Boyle will receive $616,000 from the US DOE over the next five years for her part in a project to create a genome-scale metabolic model of the algae -- Chromochloris zofingiensis which will be used to produce renewable biofuel.

    In addition to Boyle's work, the team will collect data on a large scale to gain insight into genetic elements that control metabolic shifts responsible for lipid accumulation. This information will then be used to develop synthetic biology tools to enable fast and efficient engineering of the algae's cells. Boyle notes there are two main challenges in developing high-yielding algae strains. "First, our understanding of genetic regulation and cellular physiology lags behind other model organisms like E. coli and yeast." "Second, we don't have sophisticated genetic tools to introduce the desired changes."

    The project, Systems analysis and engineering of biofuel production in Chromochloris zofingiensis, an emerging model green alga, is led the University of California, Berkeley,in cooperation with Brookhaven National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, UCLA, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The grant is administered by the Genomic Science Program in the Energy Department's Office of Biological and Environmental Research. (Source: Colorado School of Mines, PR, 3 Jan., 2018) Contact: Colorado School of Mines, Mark Ramirez, Communications and Marketing, (303) 273-3088,, Prof. Nanette Boyle, (303) 273-3720, (303) 273-3730 - fax,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Algal,  Alae Biofuel,  

    BETO Feedstock-Conversion Consortium Launched (Ind. Report)
    U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office
    Date: 2017-12-04
    In Washingto, the U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office is reporting the establishment of the Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium -- a research and development consortium dedicated to identifying and overcoming technical uncertainty in the development of biomass feedstock supply, pre-processing, and conversion technologies. The consortium aims to improve the overall operational reliability of integrated biorefineries (IBRs).

    BETO has identified inconsistent feeding, handling, and initial conversion operations at IBRs as limiting factors in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals. According to the agency, IBR development and operation have suffered from failure to account for the complexity and variability of feedstock properties and composition and from a lack of fundamental understanding of the physics and chemistry of biomass-derived feedstock pre-processing and subsequent deconstruction, combined with poor equipment design and flawed integration. Solving this significant current challenge is essential for advanced biofuels to fully reach their potential and for the economic benefits of new jobs and improved security of our fuel supply to be realized, the agency says.

    The Feedstock Conversion Interface Consortium (FCIC) is an integrated and collaborative network of eight national laboratories dedicated to addressing technical risks in developing and scaling up biomass harvest, storage, preprocessing and conversion technologies with the goal of improving the overall operational reliability of integrated pioneer biorefineries. FCIC laboratories members include, Idaho National Laboratory , National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories. (Source: US DOE, BETO, Nov., 2017) Contact: FCIC,; BETO Multi-Year Program Plan HERE.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office,  Biofuel,  Biofuel Feedstock,  Bioenergy Feedstock,  

    DOE Reports Additional $8.8Mn for Algae Tech. Innovations (R&D)
    Date: 2017-09-11
    The U.S. Department of Energy is reporting the selection of four additional projects from the Productivity Enhanced Algae and ToolKits funding opportunity to receive up to $8.8 million for projects that will deliver high-impact tools and techniques for increasing the productivity of algae organisms in order to reduce the costs of producing algal biofuels and bioproducts. The funding for this initiative now totals over $16 million.

    The organizations selected include:

  • The Colorado School of Mines, in partnership with Global Algae Innovations, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Colorado State University, will improve the productivity of wild algal strains using advanced directed evolution approaches in combination with high-performance, custom-built, solar simulation bioreactors;

  • The University of California, San Diego, will develop genetic tools, high-throughput screening methods, and breeding strategies for green algae and cyanobacteria, targeting robust production strains;

  • The University of Toledo, in partnership with Montana State University and the University of North Carolina, will cultivate microalgae in high-salinity and high-alkalinity media to achieve productivities without needing to add concentrated carbon dioxide;

  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will ecologically engineer algae to encourage growth of bacteria that efficiently remineralize dissolved organic matter to improve carbon dioxide uptake and simultaneously remove excess oxygen. (Source: US DOE BETO,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE BETO,  Algae,  Algal Biofuel,  Algae Biofuel,  

  • Aemetis, InEnTec Ink Cellulosic Ethanol Tech Deal (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2017-08-07
    Cupertino, California-headquartered Aemetis, Inc. reports it has signed a Master Agreement with key exclusive rights for the use of Richland, Washington-based InEnTec's patented Plasma Enhanced Melter® gasification technology to produce cellulosic ethanol. The InEnTec gasification technology agreement is a key part of Aemetis' strategy to produce high value, low carbon cellulosic ethanol from locally sourced biomass by integrating InEnTec's patented advanced gasification technology with LanzaTech's patented microbial fermentation technology. InEnTec's technology was developed at MIT and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with the support of the US Department of Energy.

    Under the Master Agreement, Aemetis has predominant exclusive rights to use the InEnTec gasification equipment and technology for cellulosic ethanol production until 2024. The gasification technology complements Aemetis' current license with LanzaTech for syngas-to-ethanol conversion, providing Aemetis with a complete technology solution to produce locally sourced, low carbon cellulosic ethanol, accoding to a release. (Source: Aemetis, Inc., PR, 4 Aug., 2017) Contact: InEnTec, (509) 946-5700,,; Aemetis Inc., Eric McAfee, CEO,(408) 213-0939,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis,  Cellulosic Ethanol,  InEnTec,  

    PNNL Lauded for Energy Conservation Code Work (Ind. Report)
    PNNL,International Code Council , Institute for Market Transformation and Institute for Market Transformation
    Date: 2017-07-10
    The US DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Sequim, Washington, reports it has been lauded by the International Code Council and Institute for Market Transformation for Leadership in Sustainability and Energy Efficiency Award 2017 for bringing national attention to energy conservation and sustainability for buildings.

    The award recognizes PNNL's work in developing and implementing better building energy codes which, according to PNNL analysis, has could save the United States enough energy between 2010 and 2040 to power 340 million U.S. homes.

    PNNL supports DOE's Building Energy Codes Program by participating in industry-led processes to develop building energy codes, analyzing the impacts of potential building code updates, and providing technical assistance and software tools to states that adopt and comply with the codes. (Source: PNNL, Tri-City Herald, July, 2017)Contact: PNNL, Bing Liu, Energy Codes Manager, (509) 371-6989,,; International Code Council,; Institute for Market Transformation, (202) 525-2883,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News PNNL,  Energy Conservation,  Energy Efficiency,  

    Impacts of Commercial Building Controls on Energy Savings and Peak Load Reduction -- PNNL Report Attached (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2017-06-26
    Impacts of Commercial Building Controls on Energy Savings and Peak Load Reduction, a new report from the US DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is studying how advanced building controls in energy-using equipment such as HVAC can decrease energy use and improve building operations finds that if fully used controls nationwide, the U.S. could slash its energy consumption by the equivalent of what is currently used by 12 to 15 million Americans.

    The report examines how 34 different energy measures, most of which rely on various building controls, could affect energy use in commercial buildings such as stores, offices and schools. According to the report, roughly 20 pct of America's total energy use goes toward powering commercial buildings, about 15 pct of which have building automation-control systems which, if properly maintained and used could cut annual commercial building energy use by an average of 29 percent.

    The report recommendations include:

  • repairing broken sensors that read temperatures and other;
  • turning off power-using devices like printers and monitors when not in use;
  • dimming or turning off lights in areas with natural lighting and/or when a room isn't in use;
  • lowering daytime temperature set-points for heating, increasing them for cooling, and lowering nighttime heating set-points;
  • reducing the minimum rate for air to flow through a variable-air volume boxes (about 7 pct reduction);
  • limiting heating and cooling to when building is most likely to be occupied (about 6 pct reduction).

    Impacts of Commercial Building Controls on Energy Savings and Peak Load Reduction HERE. (Source: PNNL, MTNV News, 24 June, 2017) Contact: PNNL, N. Fernandez, (509) 372-6083,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News PNNL,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Monitoring,  

  • UniEnergy Tech. Scores EPA Green Chemistry Award (Ind. Report)
    PNNL,UniEnergy Technologies
    Date: 2017-06-21
    Mukitlon, Washington-based UniEnergy Technologies reports it has been honored with a Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the US EPA for commercializing energy storage technology developed by the EPA's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) of Richland, Washington.

    UniEnergy Technologies manufactures advanced vanadium redox flow batteries using a new electrolyte chemistry developed at PNNL with DOE funding. The electrolyte can store 70 pct more energy and operates over a wider temperature range than conventional vanadium electrolytes at a lower cost than lithium-ion batteries.

    UniEnergy Technologies recently installed an 8-MWh system at the Snohomish PUD in Everett and has 155 MWh of flow batteries ordered from customers in three countries and six U.S. states. (Source: Tri-City Herald, UniEnergy Technologies, 18 June, 2017) Contact: UniEnergy Technologies, (425) 290-8090,; : PNNL, (509) 371-6989,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News PNNL,  UniEnergy Technologies,  vanadium redox flow battery,  

    PNNL Researching Time, Cost Effective Algal Biofuels (R&D)
    Date: 2017-06-12
    In Sequim, Washington, researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Marine Sciences Laboratory are working to lower the cost of producing biofuels from algae by utilizing an indoor system that mimics the conditions of outdoor ponds. The project -- Development of Integrated Screening, Cultivar Optimization, and Validation Research (DISCOVR) -- is funded by the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and has created an integrated screening platform for the rapid discovery of high-productivity strains for resilient, year-round outdoor cultivation via crop rotation.

    BETO's Advanced Algal Systems Program aims to demonstrate an algal biofuel intermediate yield of 2,500 gpy per acre by 2018 and 5,000 gallons per acre per year by 2022. The program also aims to cut the total production costs of microalgae biofuels to $3/gasoline gallon equivalent by 2030, with or without co-products.

    Researchers are currently cultivating 30 strains of algae, which they will narrow down to the four most promising strains. Of the four strains the researchers will determine which have the highest oil, protein, and carbohydrate content, as well as other factors, such as bacterial resistance and potential for creating valuable co-products. The team will then compare the strains to two well-studied algae strains, and the top-performing strains will be further tested to identify the optimal algae strain for biofuel production. (Source: PNNL, EIN PressWire, June, 2017) Contact: PNNL, (509) 371-6989,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Alagal Biofuel,  Algae,  Biofuel,  PNNL,  BETO,  

    PNNL Converts Dairy Methane into Transport Fuel (New Prod & Tech)
    Date: 2017-05-01
    Scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington, have developed a process to turn methane from dairy farms into a microbial biomass, and from the microbial biomass into a transportation fuel and other valued products.

    Scientists have been converting methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas pollutant that carbon dioxide, into microbial biomass for decades, most of the time turning it into electricity. This recent PNNL project is converting the methane into something that can be stored and turned directly into the gasoline. The end product can also be converted into plastics or even cattle feed, adding to the portfolio of renewable resources. (Source: PNNL, NBC-KNDO, 25 April, 2017)Contact: PNNL, Hans Bernstein, Lead Scientist, (509) 371-6989,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bio-gasoline,  Biofuel,  Methane,  PNNL,  Alternative FUel,  

    PNNL, ThermoChem Collaborate on Bio-Coal Hydrothermal Carbonization Tech (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2017-04-26
    In Richland, Washington, the U.S. DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) reports it will collaborate with Portland, Oregon-headquartered ThermChem Corporation, to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the company's hydrothermal carbonization method which converts dairy manure into bio-coal. PNNL will also assess the technical and economic feasibility of extracting valuable byproducts from liquid waste created during bio-coal production.

    ThermoChem's steam reforming gasification systems are also suitable for woody biomass and other waste feedstocks. (Source: U.S. DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 24 April, 2017)Contact: ThermoChem, (707) 575-1310,,; PNNL, Karl Albrecht, Chemical Engineer, (509) 371-6775,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bio-coal,  ThermoChem,  PNNL,  

    Lanzanol Low-Carbon Fuel Demo Project Awarded $4Mn (Funding)
    LanzaTechn PNNL
    Date: 2017-04-03
    The US DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office reports it will supply $4 million in grant funding to LanzaTech for a 3 million gpy low-carbon jet diesels and fuels from industrial off gases demo project.

    LanzaTech will recycle ArcelorMittal steel production waste gases to produce "Lanzanol", an ethanol intermediate. A Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and LanzaTech developed process will be used to convert Lanzanol and ethanol to jet diesel or fuel and other cost-effective products.

    The project participants include LanzaTech, PNNL, Petron Scientech, Nexceris, CRI Catalyst Company and Gardner Denver Nash, Ambitech and others. The fuels' environmental impact will be evaluated by Michigan Technological University and Audi will check the properties and effects of the fuel and diesel produced. The other project partners are Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative and Airlines for America. (Source: LanzaTech, Talk Daily News, 27 Mar., 2017) Contact: ArcelorMittal,; PNNL,; LanzaTech, Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, (630) 439-3050,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LanzaTech,  Jet Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  Virgin Atlantic,  

    Snohomish PUD Touts 2nd Energy Storage System (Ind. Report)
    Snohomish County PUD,Washington State Clean Energy Fund
    Date: 2017-04-03
    In Washington State, the Snohomish County PUD is reporting the installation of its second energy storage system at a substation in Everett. The system , which is the PUD's largest containerized vanadium flow battery system by capacity, received a $7.3 million investment from the Washington State Clean Energy Fund.

    The battery storage systems are designed to improve reliability and the integration of renewable energy resources, which are rapidly growing in the Pacific Northwest. The system batteries were manufactured by UniEnergy Technologies, Doosan, GridTech and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The energy storage system was made possible in part (Source: Snohmish County PUD, EL&P, 29 Mar., 2017) Contact: Washington State Clean Energy Fund,; Snohomish County PUD, (425) 783-1000,; UniEnergy Technologies, (425) 290-8898,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Washington State Clean Energy Fund,  Snohomish County PUD,  Energy Storage,  UniEnergy Technologies,  

    SoCalGas Pilot Biogas Project Scores $1.2Mn Funding (Funding)
    Date: 2017-02-15
    In Los Angeles, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) reports its pilot hydrothermal wastewater processing project has been awarded $1.2 million in U.S. DOE funding. SoCalGas is part of a consortium conducting the pilot, which will be required to share the cost at a minimum of 50 percent in order to receive federal funds. The consortium is being led by the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation.

    The pilot project will use hydrothermal processing technology to convert wastewater solids into methane -- renewable natural gas as well as liquid fuels. SoCalGas will help oversee the project's design and assist in obtaining state and federal regulatory approvals and incentives. The Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, near Oakland, California, will host the pilot system.

    The consortium includes the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation, which represents many of the 16,000 wastewater systems in the U.S. The consortium also includes Genifuel Corp. with technology from DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Merrick & Co., Tesoro Corp., Metro Vancouver, MicroBio Engineering, Brown and Caldwell, and several utility partners. (Source: Southern California Gas Company, 14 Feb., 2017) Contact: SoCalGas, Jeff Reed, Director Business Strategy and Advanced Technology,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biogas,  SoCalGas,  Methane,  Renewable Natural Gas,  

    PNNL Lab Investigating Algae as Biofuel Feedstock (R&D)
    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    Date: 2017-02-03
    Dr. Michael Huesemann, a lead researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's (PNNL) Marine Sciences Laboratory in Sequim, Washington, is working on a $6 million, three-year algae Development of Integrated Screening, Cultivar Optimization and Validation Research (DISCOVR) project to identify the optimum algae for biofuel production.

    The project is being pursued at various laboratories in five stages as follows: In Tier I, scientists in Sequim and New Mexico test up to 30 different algae strains to see how weather tolerant they are and the top third will go to Tier II.

    In Tier II, Sequim houses a unique climate-simulating system called Laboratory Environmental Algae Pond Simulator (LEAPS) that simulates climates and seasons around the world inside glass cylinder photobioreactors. Two other labs will evaluate the algae to determine it value and other potential uses that could make algae biofuel production more cost-effective. Scientists also will research how resilient certain algae strains are to predators, like protozoans, and other competing algae.

    In Tier III, researchers in New Mexico will further test top-performing algae strains, which includes forcing cells to grow faster or generate more oils, using state-of-the-art laboratory techniques.

    In Tier IV, algae strains will travel to outdoor ponds in Arizona to compare biomass output with earlier steps.

    In Tier V, scientists will study the algae strains that performed the best in different lighting and temperature conditions. Study data will be added to PNNL's Biomass Assessment Tool to help researchers generate maps that illustrate the expected biomass productivity of each algae species grown in outdoor ponds nationwide. Laboratory officials said work that could stem from this project includes converting harvested algae into biofuels, examining operational changes such as crop rotation to further increase biomass growth and assessing the technical feasibility and economic costs of making biofuel from algae selected through this process.

    Algae project details are HERE. (Source: PNNL, Sequim Gazette, 2 Feb., 2017) Contact: PNNL: Marine Sciences Laboratory, (360) 683-4151,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,  Algae,  Biofuel,  

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