Core Research and Development (Core R&D) involves both applied laboratory- and pilot-scale research focused on developing new technologies and systems for geologic storage. The effort is driven by the technology needs determined by industry and other stakeholders, including regulators.

The Core R&D element of the Carbon Storage R&D Program is implemented through: (1) cost-shared cooperative agreements and grants with industry and academic institutions; (2) field work research at other national laboratories; and (3) research at NETL's Research and Innovations Center. These efforts provide the scientific basis for carbon storage options.

Overall, the focus of the Core R&D effort is on developing new and early stage carbon capture and storage technologies to the point of pre-commercial demonstration. The level of technology R&D conducted in the Core R&D efforts ranges from laboratory- to pilot-scale activities. Technologies are normally developed in the Core R&D projects to the point where individual companies, utilities, and other business entities are able to design, manufacture, and build the equipment and instrumentation needed to implement or commercialize the processes.