FE's Advanced Energy Materials program involves the development of computational techniques for the virtual and rapid design of materials that show promise in satisfying the demanding requirements for advanced combustion systems. These efforts involve:

  • Development of a technology base in the synthesis, processing, life-cycle analysis, and performance characterization of advanced materials;
  • Development of new alloy materials that have the potential to improve the performance and/or reduce the cost of existing fossil fuel technologies. For example, operation of pulverized coal plant at Advanced Ultrasupercritical (AUSC) conditions of up to 760°C and 5000 psi would increase plant efficiency and reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent per MW over current plants;
  • Development of materials for new energy systems and capabilities, such as gasifiers, oxy-combustion, which promises to lower emissions of NOx and CO2, and gas separation membranes; and
  • Combination of above technologies to allow simultaneous achievement of multiple objectives, such as cost effective, efficient, and low emission plant enabled by a combination of AUSC and oxycombustion

More specifically, these efforts include exploration of developing chemistries that will form either protective chromia oxide scales or alumina oxide scales, depending upon application environment and performance requirement needs. The work also continues the development of alloys based on refractory metal elements to withstand the high temperatures and aggressive environments that are predicted for oxy-fuel turbines, hydrogen turbines, and syngas turbines, such as Nb, Mo, Cr, and W. Work will continue on the mechanical testing and microstructural analyses necessary to prove the performance of the nickel-based alloys, which has not been used in pulverized coal-fired power generation plants. The results of this testing will be used for the code qualification of this material certification.

FE investments in advanced energy materials technologies leverage the world-class capabilities of the DOE National Laboratories and those of private industry to accelerate the delivery of new or improved power material benefits to U.S. industry and the nation. For more detailed information on the DOE’s National Energy Technology Labs (NETL) involvement in developing advanced materials, click here.