The mission of the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management is to minimize the environmental impacts of fossil fuels while working towards net-zero emissions. The Office’s programs use research, development, demonstration, and deployment approaches to advance technologies to reduce carbon emissions and other environmental impacts of fossil fuel production and use, particularly the hardest-to-decarbonize applications in the electricity and industrial sectors. Priority areas of technology work include point-source carbon capture, hydrogen with carbon management, methane emissions reduction, critical mineral production, and carbon dioxide removal to address the accumulated CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. The Office recognizes that global decarbonization is essential to meeting climate goals and works to engage with international colleagues to leverage expertise in these areas. The Office is also committed to improving the conditions of communities impacted by the legacy of fossil fuel use and to supporting a healthy economic transition that accelerates the growth of good-paying jobs.
The Point Source Capture (PSC) Research and Development (R&D) Program applies lessons learned from large demonstration projects on coal-fired power generation over the past 15 years. These demonstrations capture emissions from natural gas power generation and industrial emission sources like steel and cement production. The program aims to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies for natural gas and industrial sources over the next decade, with the goal of creating highly efficient, transformational PSC technologies. These technologies will be capable of operation under flexible duty cycles and foster creation of regional power generation that can achieve greater than 95% carbon capture.
Hydrogen with Carbon Management
Currently, the most economical ways to generate clean hydrogen is through the use of fossil sources and sustainable biomass, combined with carbon capture, utilization, and storage. The Hydrogen with Carbon Management Program invests in research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) to gage whether carbon-based hydrogen as a fuel is a cost-competitive alternative to traditional fossil fuels. The program focuses on developing a new generation of carbon neutral or net-negative greenhouse gas emissions technologies, such as the gasification of wastes, reversible solid oxide fuel cells, hydrogen turbine technology, advanced materials, and sensors and controls. The program is an integral part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Hydrogen Energy Earthshots Initiative, which has a goal of achieving clean hydrogen costs of $1 per kilogram within one decade while maintaining and expanding employment of the U.S. energy workforce.
The Carbon Transport and Storage Program supports the foundation for carbon storage by making key investments in advanced technology RD&D, large-scale transport scenarios, commercial-scale storage facilities, and regional hubs. DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) is uniquely positioned to help build a carbon transport and storage industry at the scale necessary to decarbonize the U.S. economy. Some critical program components include strategies to improve performance and reduce the cost of reliable carbon storage, creating educational partnerships for growing the workforce, and technology transfer and technical assistance to stakeholders.
The Minerals Sustainability Division helps create an environmentally, economically, and geopolitically sustainable supply chain of critical minerals (CM) while protecting the environment and bolstering America’s transition to a clean energy economy. Building on existing DOE research, the division’s mission centers on advancing the technologies necessary to advance critical minerals production. The division is also pursuing research and development of unconventional and secondary feedstocks containing critical minerals and carbon ore derived from legacy and sustainable mining operations, as well as fossil energy byproduct streams like produced water from natural gas and oil operations.
The Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Program’s mission is to advance diverse CDR approaches to help achieve gigaton-scale removal by 2050. The program also emphasizes a robust analyses of life cycle impacts of various CDR approaches and a deep commitment to equitable and sustainable CDR.
The Carbon Conversion (CC) Program invests in RD&D and supports networks to deploy technologies that recycle CO2 into value-added products on an economic scale. The program focuses on several pathways, including mineralization, catalytic conversion, and biological approaches to create CO2-based building materials, fuels, and chemicals. Through these investments, the CC Program can help the United States achieve the goals of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 while developing the industries of the future in an equitable and just manner.
The mission of the Methane Mitigation Technologies Division is to eliminate non-trivial methane emissions from the oil and gas supply chain by 2030. This effort is part of FECM’s broader mission to reduce both environmental and climate impacts of fossil fuels and includes constraining the emission of all greenhouse gases. The division is working to mitigate methane emissions across the natural gas supply chain – from production to processing, transportation, storage and end use.