The Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) is the nationwide network of federal laboratories with more than 300 members that provides the forum to develop strategies and opportunities for linking laboratory mission technologies and expertise with the marketplace.
“We are proud of this work in technology development, technology transfer, and partnerships,” said Jackie Kerby Moore, Sandia’s manager of Technology and Economic Development and Sandia’s representative to the FLC. “We are truly honored to be recognized, alongside our partners, for our work in these areas.”
Sandia won four awards from the FLC Far West/Mid-Continent Regions:
- “Nano-Stabilized Enzymatic Membrane for CO2 Capture” (video) received a Notable Technology Development Award for technology that limits CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants;
- H2FIRST received an Outstanding Partnership Award for efforts toward deployment of hydrogen fueling infrastructure (this partnership includes Sandia and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, California Fuel Cell Partnership, California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and California Air Resources Board);
- New Mexico Small Business Assistance (NMSBA) program was recognized as a Notable State and Local Government Collaboration; and
- Mantevo software, which recently won an R&D 100 Award, received an Excellence in Technology Transfer Award.
The first two items are the results of Energy & Climate PMU-aligned work.
CO2 Capture: A better way to keep emissions at bay
Electricity-generating plants, especially coal-fired plants, and other industrial activities that generate carbon dioxide (CO2) face new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations limiting emissions.
Nano-stabilized enzymatic membranes for CO2 capture provide a simple, compact, and more energy-efficient approach to capture than conventional methods. The process removes 90% of the CO2 in emitted gas mixtures and is expected to save the U.S. coal industry alone $90 billion a year.
The enzymatic membrane technology uses computational modeling to design and nanofabrication techniques to synthesize membranes with thin, narrow. and airtight liquid layers. By embedding an enzyme that converts CO2 gas into a more soluble form, the liquid-layered membranes efficiently capture CO2 from power plant flue gas. Researchers from Sandia and the University of New Mexico partnered to develop the technology.
“With the growing concern about global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions, there is an immediate and urgent need for efficient CO2 capture and reuse in other applications such as enhanced oil recovery,” said Sandia nanobiologist Susan Rempe. “It is gratifying to be recognized by the FLC for our team’s efforts to provide a solution to CO2 capture that works within the framework of the U.S. coal industry.”
H2FIRST: Places to refuel hydrogen cell electric cars
As hydrogen fuel cell vehicles continue to roll out in increasing numbers, the infrastructure for fueling them must expand as well. A project launched by the U.S. Department of Energy and led by Sandia and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will work in support of H2USA, the public-private partnership introduced in 2013 by the DOE and industry stakeholders to address the challenge of hydrogen infrastructure.
Established by the DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology (H2FIRST) project will draw on existing and emerging core abilities at the national labs to reduce the cost and time of new fueling station construction and improve the stations’ availability and reliability. The partners include several agencies from the state of California, widely regarded as the nation’s epicenter of zero-emission vehicles.
The goal is to accelerate and support the widespread deployment of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. Toyota recently announced it will begin selling a fuel cell vehicle in 2015. General Motors and Honda announced plans to jointly develop hydrogen fuel cell cars and Hyundai will lease its version in California.
“The success of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles largely depends on more stations being available, including in neighborhoods and at work, so drivers can easily refuel,” said Daniel Dedrick, hydrogen program manager at Sandia. “With H2FIRST, we’re definitely on the road to making that happen more quickly.”
Read the Sandia news release.