The Office of Research & Development mission is to reduce the environmental impacts and emissions associated with fossil energy development, use, transportation, and storage. The office researches impacts like produced water, abandoned mine remediation, and methane emissions. The Office focuses on improving the economics and reducing environmental impacts of critical minerals extraction, processing, use, and disposal.
The Advanced Remediation Technologies Programs develop technologies to be applied to the remediation and prevention of environmental impacts from the recovery of fossil energy resources. This includes research and technology development to address wellbore integrity, induced seismicity, water use, produced water treatment, and offshore safety and spill prevention. Research efforts focus on reducing the environmental impacts of coal, oil, and natural gas development.
The Methane Mitigation Technologies Program develops accurate, cost effective and efficient technology solutions and best practices to identify, measure, monitor, and eliminate methane emissions from stationary sources along the natural gas supply chain. Research and development (R&D) efforts include advanced materials for pipeline construction, monitoring sensors, data management systems, and more efficient and flexible compressor stations. Research efforts for methane emissions quantification focus on developing technologies to detect, locate, and measure emissions. The program also develops and advances technologies to enable a hydrogen economy by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the technologies for hydrogen production from natural gas, and the transportation, and storage of domestically produced hydrogen.
The Critical Minerals Sustainability Program provides oversight, management, and direction for research, development, deployment, and commercial application on technologies to improve the economic and sustainable recovery of critical minerals and to reduce the environmental impacts of their extraction, processing, use, and disposal. These include rare earth elements from all raw mining materials to support the power industry and United States manufacturing base.
DOE Research Studies are directed by either the Secretary of Energy or by Congress and cover a variety of areas. Past studies have included: Crude Oil Characterization Research Study; Used Oil Management and Beneficial Reuse Options; Natural Gas Flaring and Venting: State and Federal Regulatory Overview, Trends, and Impacts; and Hydrogen Strategy: Enabling a Low-Carbon Economy.