The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has selected Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Other Minority Institutions (HBCUs/OMIs) projects to receive funding for fossil fuel research through its Crosscutting Research Program.

The NETL Crosscutting Technology Research Program is intended to bridge the gap between fundamental and applied technology by supporting efforts that improve existing power plants through efficiency; provide materials and techniques for advanced power generation; and introduce and foster growth of new technologies. University training and research is an area of emphasis.

Funding awarded under the NETL HBCU/OMI effort is intended to maintain and upgrade education, training, and research capabilities in the fields of science and technology related to fossil energy resources. The selected projects fall under two specific topics of NETL interest: (a) functional materials development to support high temperature direct power extraction applications, and (b) advanced manufacturing of advanced energy system parts and components with embedded sensors. Both subject areas advance research to develop more efficient technologies that will lower the cost of cleaner energy production options.

Project descriptions follow.

Under topic (a), there were two selections:

Combustion Synthesis of Boride-Based Electrode Materials for Magnetohydrodynamic Direct Power Extraction

University of Texas at El Paso will develop an advanced, low-cost manufacturing technique for fabricating boride-based ultrahigh-temperature ceramics and investigate new ways to fabricate ceramic materials from inexpensive raw materials.

Cost: DOE: $250,000 / Non-DOE: $0/ Total Funding: $250,000

Novel High Temperature Carbide and Boride Ceramics for Direct Power Extraction Electrode Applications

Florida International University (Miami, FL) will develop nano carbide and boride ceramic composites for hot electrodes to be used in direct power extraction systems; create a process to synthesize nano powders; and evaluate electrical properties and oxidation resistance at high temperatures.

Cost: DOE: $249,970 / Non-DOE: $0/ Total Funding: $249,970

Under topic (b), there was one selection:

Metal 3D Printing of Low-NOX Fuel Injectors with Integrated Temperature Sensors with Coal Slags

University of Texas at El Paso will design and prototype a dry low-NOx fuel injector with integrated temperature sensing capabilities using the Electron Beam Melting additive manufacturing process.

Cost: DOE: $250,000 / Non-DOE: $0 / Total Funding: $250,000