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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

Board on Energy and Environmental Systems

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources

500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202 334 3344
Fax: 202 334 2019

June 30, 2004

Mr. Scott Klara

U.S. Department of Energy

National Energy Technology Laboratory

626 Cochrans Mill Road Pittsburgh, PA 15236–0940

Mr. Jose D.Figueroa

U.S. Department of Energy

National Energy Technology Laboratory

626 Cochrans Mill Road Pittsburgh, PA 15236–0940

Dear Mr. Klara and Mr. Figueroa:

Enclosed please find the final letter report1 by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Committee on Novel Approaches to the Management of Greenhouse Gases from Energy Systems (“the committee”). The committee was chaired by Dale F.Stein, Michigan Technological University (retired). The membership of the committee is listed in the Appendix. This letter report is part of an activity supported by Grant No. DE-AT01–02FE67594 from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy.

1  

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Rakesh Agrawal, NAE, Air Products and Chemicals; David Bodde, University of Missouri; Doug Boylan, Southern Company Services; Charles Christopher, BP Americas; L.S.Fan, NAE, Ohio State University; and Robert Socolow, Princeton University.

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by H.M.Hubbard, Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (retired). Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making sure that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.



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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine Board on Energy and Environmental Systems Board on Earth Sciences and Resources 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 Phone: 202 334 3344 Fax: 202 334 2019 June 30, 2004 Mr. Scott Klara U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory 626 Cochrans Mill Road Pittsburgh, PA 15236–0940 Mr. Jose D.Figueroa U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory 626 Cochrans Mill Road Pittsburgh, PA 15236–0940 Dear Mr. Klara and Mr. Figueroa: Enclosed please find the final letter report1 by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Committee on Novel Approaches to the Management of Greenhouse Gases from Energy Systems (“the committee”). The committee was chaired by Dale F.Stein, Michigan Technological University (retired). The membership of the committee is listed in the Appendix. This letter report is part of an activity supported by Grant No. DE-AT01–02FE67594 from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy. 1   This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Rakesh Agrawal, NAE, Air Products and Chemicals; David Bodde, University of Missouri; Doug Boylan, Southern Company Services; Charles Christopher, BP Americas; L.S.Fan, NAE, Ohio State University; and Robert Socolow, Princeton University. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by H.M.Hubbard, Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (retired). Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making sure that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report This letter report is a follow-up activity to the committee’s workshop report, published in April 2003, entitled Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Separation, Capture, Sequestration, and Conversion to Useful Products,2 and to the letter report of November 24, 2003, regarding the review of grant proposals.3 This final letter report evaluates the success of the Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management in generating novel concepts for stimulating research proposals and expands on lessons learned from the workshop effort and the proposal review. I. INTRODUCTION To better understand the potential future management of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil energy sources, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) is funding a research and development (R&D) program to explore various methods of carbon management.4 These methods range from technologies that would remove and sequester carbon from the energy conversion process before it enters the atmosphere, to techniques for increasing the rate of removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. Part of the FE R&D program is directed toward exploring “novel” or “revolutionary” systems concepts that could provide a significant leap ahead. Innovations in technologies that could lead to practical and cost-effective means for either reducing emissions from fossil-fueled power plants or removing CO2 from the atmosphere could have far-ranging consequences for the economies of the world and implications for climate change. Among the options already being researched throughout the world and in the FE program is the use of coal-fueled systems to produce electricity and hydrogen as an energy carrier while simultaneously sequestering any resulting CO2. Most approaches to date face problems of practicality and cost-effectiveness because of the large amounts of CO2 that would have to be managed in the longer term. To foster the identification of “outside-the-box” or novel concepts, FE approached the NRC’s Board on Energy and Environmental Systems for assistance. It specified that the novel concepts identified should meet DOE’s objective of having some promise of achieving low cost and wide-scale use. The Board on Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES) in conjunction with the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources (BESR) formed a committee of scientists and engineers from academia and industry representing an array of technical disciplines to 2   The National Research Council’s Committee on Novel Approaches to the Management of Greenhouse Gases from Energy Systems held a workshop at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center in Irvine, California, on February 12–14, 2003, and published a workshop report summarizing the ideas developed therein. That report, Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Separation, Capture, Sequestration, and Conversion to Useful Products, is available online at http://books.nap.edu/catalog/10699.html. 3   The public version of the November 2003 letter report is available on-line at http://books.nap.edu/catalog/10869.html. 4   The electric power and/or hydrogen production plants that are the focus of activities within DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy emit primarily the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. The committee therefore focused its work on carbon management.

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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report conduct activities to help DOE-FE with this effort. The specific tasks of the Committee on Novel Approaches to the Management of Greenhouse Gases from Energy Systems were to: Meet with DOE personnel to discuss the content and progress of the existing FE program, review past efforts of FE in seeking innovative approaches, and conduct a dialog on what novel or outside-the-box technologies DOE thinks might be appropriate. Hold a National Academies’ workshop on novel approaches to the management of GHG emissions, identifying workshop participants, conducting the workshop, and issuing a workshop report that provides information for DOE’s solicitation of research proposals on novel approaches to GHG emissions. Review proposals received by DOE in response to the solicitation and write a letter report evaluating them on scientific, technical, engineering, and environmental merits. Review lessons learned from the process, review the impact on DOE-FE’s Carbon Sequestration Program for program priorities and balance, and write a short final report with conclusions and recommendations. The first three tasks were addressed in the committee’s April 2003 workshop report and its November 2003 letter report evaluating proposals.5 The objectives of this final letter report, which addresses the fourth task, are to evaluate the success of the Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management in generating novel concepts for stimulating research proposals and to expand on lessons learned from the workshop effort and the proposal review. In addition to making observations about the process for identifying novel concepts, the committee offers suggestions on how to continue to use the same process to generate additional novel approaches to carbon management. II. THE WORKSHOP In reviewing the organizational phase of its workshop, the committee focused on the identification and selection of workshop participants, preparatory materials, breakout sessions, and the format of the workshop. In this section, it also comments on the purpose and scope of the resulting 2003 report and on the workshop’s effect on DOE-FE’s subsequent proposal solicitation. Participants As a start on planning the February 2003 workshop, the committee organized itself into subgroups, each of which developed a framework for the workshop discussions, including topics in each subgroup.6 Within the relatively short time available 5   See footnotes 2 and 3. 6   The workshop participants were organized into subgroups around the four topical areas of interest: (1) advanced separation techniques, (2) advanced subsurface technologies, (3) advanced geochemical methods for sequestering carbon, and (4) novel niches.

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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report to organize the workshop, a tentative list of participants was identified, based on the committee members’ knowledge of the areas of interest. The candidate participants were contacted for their interest and availability to attend the workshop. Discussions with these potential participants led to a secondary list of attendees, some of whom were contacted to fill perceived gaps in the coverage of topical areas. In addition, the committee identified leading researchers whose primary expertise lay outside the study of carbon sequestration. Participation of scientists and engineers was solicited through contacts at universities, including deans and heads of departments of diverse basic science and engineering fields, such as the life sciences, the chemical sciences, oceanography, the geological sciences, and allied scientific areas. The workshop attendees were primarily invitees, but a number of scientists and engineers also attended who learned of the meeting by advertisement, by word of mouth, or from the NRC Web site. In the development of future workshops, additional notification through professional societies, trade journals, and/or Web sites could help to attract additional participants beyond those formally invited. In this way, additional contributors of ideas could be engaged. Advertisements directed to such contributors should include requirements for attendance that would involve preparation by reading certain DOE literature or other background materials (see discussion below) and a request to offer suggestions of new ideas in the workshop discussions. Early identification by the workshop organizing committee of key experts in fields of interest, through consultation with others in the scientific community, followed by a committee pre-contact review and vetted selection of potential candidates, would ensure more complete representation of scientific expertise. In this process of vetted selection, the organizing committee would be able to iterate the choice of invited participants. Preparatory Materials One of the challenges in preparing for a workshop—or any process to solicit proposals for and ultimately fund the study of innovative technologies—will be identifying and developing sufficient information to encourage participation and stimulate ideas without stifling creativity. A lesson learned at the February 2003 workshop was that, while there were some excellent initial presentations, the breadth and content of the preparatory material could have been improved (see discussion below), as could the lead time available for the participants to digest and respond to that information. To stimulate future discussion on novel approaches to carbon management, preparatory information should include the following: A definition of “sequestering,” not so much to limit discussion as to focus interest and the search for solutions. This is not to suggest that programs outside the scope of the definition are not worthwhile, but rather, in this case, are outside the intended scope of funding. The definition should include items such as: The choice, if any, between long-term sequestering (e.g., aquifer injection) and transient sequestering (e.g., afforestation);

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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report Inclusion, or not, of energy efficiency; Inclusion, or not, of the use of renewable energy (e.g., sunlight) to convert CO2, captured by some process, to make fuels that would replace fossil-carbon-derived fuels; and Inclusion, or not, of capturing CO2 to make products with long- or short-term durability that would replace fossil-carbon-derived products. An analysis of the amount of CO2 that must be sequestered to meet the needs of society. A survey of the present thinking about the capacities of the currently identified CO2 “sinks.” (See, for example, Figure 1.) Care must be taken to present this effort in a way that invites, even stimulates, creative challenges to the belief in that capacity. FIGURE 1 Global carbon sequestration capacity. The top of the solid portion of each bar indicates the lower limit of the estimated range for each storage option. SOURCE: Scott Klara, “U.S. DOE Carbon Sequestration Program,” presentation to the Committee on Novel Approaches to the Management of Greenhouse Gases from Energy Systems, March 17, 2004, Washington, D.C. A similar survey of the present thinking about the technical, environmental, social, and other barriers to using the currently identified CO2 sinks. A survey of the present thinking about the technologies for sequestering, coupled with an analysis of the present cost estimates for deploying those technologies. In addition to the costs, performance metrics for the technologies (e.g., net fraction of sunlight collected) should be developed and

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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report presented. The survey should also include thinking about the technical, environmental, social, and other barriers to using those sequestering technologies. Discussion of experience to date with outreach to stakeholders on issues surrounding carbon management, including any issues that are thought to be barriers to implementation of carbon management technologies. The background material for the February 2003 workshop included numbers 1, 2, 3, and 5 (partial) of the above list. Recent examples of excellent relevant information include works by Robert Williams,7 David Keith,8 and Klaus Lackner.9 Breakout Sessions Breakout discussion sessions at the February 2003 workshop were designed to facilitate brainstorming. The topics of the breakout sessions—focusing on separations techniques, subsurface technologies, geochemical methods, and novel niches—were appropriate. With few exceptions, participants shared ideas and contributed to discussions freely, despite the possibility of competition for DOE monies or other forms of funding. There was a general consensus among the committee members that the breakout sessions generated many novel concepts; most, though not all, were represented in the April 2003 workshop report.10 It should also be noted that part of the success of the breakout sessions was due to the fluid structure of the brainstorming sessions, which allowed participants to circulate freely among, and contribute to, different topical sections. The issue of what constitutes a novel concept was raised in most if not all of the breakout groups and was the subject of much discussion at the February 2003 workshop and also during subsequent committee meetings. In general, two broad categories of novelty were recognized that could ultimately contribute to successful carbon remediation strategies. The first comprised those concepts that represented truly out-of-the-box thinking—concepts that, to the workshop participants’ collective knowledge, were not under consideration or perhaps had not even been thought of elsewhere. The second comprised novel approaches or changes to existing technological or scientific paradigms. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the suggested new research areas fell into the second category, but roughly 20 to 30 percent of the ideas could reasonably be grouped into the first. 7   Robert Williams, “Princeton Program Relating to Greenhouse Gas Management,” presentation to the Committee on Novel Approaches to the Management of Greenhouse Gases from Energy Systems, October 23, 2003. Note that Robert Williams was a member of the committee at the time of the February 2003 workshop. 8   David Keith, “Carbon Management Overview and Comments on R&D priorities,” presentation to the Committee on Novel Approaches to the Management of Greenhouse Gases from Energy Systems, October 23, 2003. Note that David Keith was a member of the committee at the time of the February 2003 workshop. 9   K.S.Lackner. 2002. “Carbonate Chemistry for Sequestering Fossil Carbon,” Annual Reviews of Energy and Environment, Vol. 27, pp. 193–232. 10   See footnote 2.

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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report Format of the February 2003 Workshop Initial breakout discussions on the first day of the February 2003 workshop were centered mostly on orienting participants on basic issues. The most creative discussions often occurred in the latter part of the second day or on the third. Consequently, some committee members voiced concern that the 3-day workshop was too short and that a 4-or 5-day session could have facilitated generation of additional novel research areas. A longer meeting with the same format might have been problematic, however, because participants had busy schedules and many could not stay even for the full 3-day session. One committee suggestion for future workshops is to base them on a Gordon Research Conference11 model—a 5-day format in which formal meetings or seminars are broken up with facilitated informal discussions or one-on-one discussions during recreation periods. Another committee suggestion is not to limit the generation of novel ideas to one workshop, but rather to have meetings once a year or once every several years. Participants should include members of previous workshops so as to provide carryover of expertise, but should also include new members to help ensure freshness and creativity. The committee generally agreed that the length of the February 2003 workshop was minimal for creating an environment that placed participants at a common level of knowledge, provided time for participants to get to know one another, and encouraged the presentation and debate of unusual ideas in a search for truly novel approaches. Future workshops could include alternate discussion formats to promote full participation in sharing and examining ideas. One method might introduce a hypothetical extreme case or goal, for example, “Why can’t we use deep sequestration as a primary target for CO2 storage?” Another goal might be, “With respect to DOE’s concept of FutureGen,12 how can we introduce improved separation and sequestration technologies to improve the efficiency or cost-effectiveness of this concept?” If controversial boundaries or barriers were introduced, the discussion of new approaches could come sooner than if a conventional discussion format were used. This approach could be facilitated with panels during the first day that would engage in a “point-counterpoint” discussion of key elements of separation and sequestration technologies currently well into development, combined with a more general discussion of non-CO2-generating energy technologies, with attention to cost-benefit “realism.” In another, two-stage format, novel ideas could first be obtained from researchers in various fields, and these ideas would then be summarized and presented to the workshop participants active in the area of carbon management. 11   The Gordon Research Conferences provide an international forum for the presentation and discussion of frontier research in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences, and their related technologies. Meetings typically begin on Sunday evening and run through Thursday evening. Normally, lectures are held in the morning and evening. The afternoons are available for participation in discussion, reading, or recreation, as individuals desire. 12   The FutureGen plant is scheduled to reach full operational status during fiscal year 2012 and is planned to operate as a nominal 275-MW (net equivalent output) facility that produces both electricity and hydrogen and sequesters 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. The FutureGen project will employ advanced generation, hydrogen production, and capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide. (SOURCE: U.S. Department of Energy. 2004. FutureGen: Report to Congress. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy, March.)

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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report Another alternative to the workshop design might be to organize sequential, smaller meetings of topic-specific groups. These sessions might involve multiple meetings over a period of time to facilitate team interactions and increasingly substantive discussions to explore novel ideas. Another alternative approach could be adopted that systematically evaluates the functions of various carbon management projects and how to achieve them at the lowest cost. This approach would be akin to value engineering, a technique that is widely used by civil engineers in construction and infrastructure projects. For future workshops, particular attention should be given to the organization of the keynote material to ensure that the boundaries and barriers crucial to DOE’s goals and applications are known to the participants as a starting point. RECOMMENDATION: The committee recommends that future workshops be organized with full consideration given to alternate formats to ensure that limitations of time and resources do not impede the generation of novel approaches. Workshop Report The February 2003 workshop was summarized in the report Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Separation, Capture, Sequestration, and Conversion to Useful Products.13 The committee believes that although the April 2003 workshop report was designed mainly to inform DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory staff, its contents are of sufficient interest to be made available more widely than within the DOE community. The April 2003 report could be of substantial interest to others in the engineering and science community and could provide a series of topics for investigators to consider for proposing a range of ideas to other potential sponsors. Inclusion of New and Novel Ideas A major stated goal of the Committee on Novel Approaches to the Management of Greenhouse Gases from Energy Systems was to attract workshop participants who do not necessarily work in the area of carbon management, but who could bring new and important ideas to the field. Initial discussion in the breakout sessions of the February 2003 workshop was centered on the problems and magnitude of CO2 sequestration. Discussion in each session was led by those participants with experience in the field. However, with time, discussion within the breakout sessions moved to the question of how incremental or major improvements could be made to existing approaches, and new 13   The workshop report described the events leading to and the organization and purpose of the February 2003 workshop. It also includes a summary of the ideas developed in four topic areas addressing carbon management: (1) advanced separation techniques, (2) advanced subsurface technologies, (3) advanced geochemical methods for sequestering carbon, and (4) novel niches. A final chapter dealt with the structure of proposals, and post-award project management, and crosscutting analytical and engineering issues. These latter issues included monitoring and containment technologies following subsurface CO2 sequestration, the risk assessment of subsurface technologies, and engineering systems analysis for optimum CO2 reduction or sequestration. Included in the report was a list of participants and the program agenda.

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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report approaches were put forth. These new approaches were used by DOE-FE in its May 2003 proposal solicitation that attracted 109 proposals, many from new entrants in the field. III. THE SELECTION OF PROJECTS The committee next considered the results of the DOE-FE solicitation process with respect to the goals of that process. The solicitation process used by DOE-FE to invite a broad range of the scientific and engineering community to propose innovative research concepts for carbon management did meet many of the original objectives. The committee believes that as a whole, the workshop, solicitation, and review process did result in the funding of important carbon sequestration research. The DOE-FE Process The committee believes that several aspects of the DOE-FE solicitation could be modified in future efforts to enhance the opportunity to receive truly innovative concepts with the potential for high impact in CO2 sequestration. The committee learned that, within the community of potential applicants, some persons were unable to respond to the solicitation for various reasons. The following recommendations for future solicitations include adjustments that would address some of those concerns: The time to respond to a solicitation could be improved. The DOE-FE solicitation for carbon management studies was calling for truly new approaches to sequestration. By definition, potential proposers are thus beginning from a near-zero starting point and need additional proposal time to develop ideas and to explore them sufficiently in order to submit a proposal with a reasonable level of background substantiation. RECOMMENDATION: If DOE solicits research on novel approaches to carbon management again, it should allow at least 12 weeks for submission of proposals after issuing a solicitation. Since truly new concepts were being sought, a two- or three-phase approach would be a natural progression for many of the concepts proposed, but the DOE-FE solicitation construct did not lay this option out for proposers. A phased approach would provide a path forward for innovative but untested ideas that require some initial level of study before investment of the larger balance of research funds can be justified. RECOMMENDATION: Any future DOE-FE solicitation on novel approaches to carbon management research should involve a Phase 1 feasibility study level of effort to assess the concept before progressing to greater levels of effort. A large fraction of proposers consisted of either universities (applying as individual investigators or as institutions) or teaming arrangements between industry and academia. Several comments were received from the community concerning the awkwardness of the timing of the solicitation in that it coincided

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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report with the end of the academic calendar year, which is the busiest season for academia. RECOMMENDATION: If possible, the timing of the release of DOE-FE solicitations should be coordinated with a time frame during which it is most convenient for proposers to respond. The May 2003 solicitation did not follow the DOE trend for requiring cost sharing. RECOMMENDATION: The no-cost-share provision that was of great benefit in the DOE-FE solicitation for carbon management is recommended for future such solicitations since the topics solicited are exploratory in nature. The method of rejecting proposals and allowing the proposers to request debriefings does not appear to be optimal in encouraging proposers to improve their proposals and resubmit them under a future solicitation. Several of the proposals that did not receive a high merit rating from the committee could nevertheless be improved and offer truly innovative opportunities. RECOMMENDATION: The committee recommends that DOE use a funding vehicle that allows reviewer feedback to be given to all proposers at the time of rejection. This approach would, the committee believes, result in a decrease in the workload for DOE managers and would increase the information exchange with the community, potentially fostering higher-quality proposals in future solicitations. National Institutes of Health grant programs successfully build in this type of community interaction. DOE’s intention was to reach a broad range of both domestic and overseas organizations that have not historically been regular proposers to DOE. Some of the most novel proposals were submitted by investigators from outside the normal DOE-FE channels. RECOMMENDATION: DOE should use innovative means to advertise its solicitations to a broader audience in future efforts. Advertising in scientific and engineering journals and periodicals, such as Nature, Science, Oil & Gas Journal, and others will dramatically increase the visibility of a solicitation. Many good proposals did not receive a high merit rating from the committee. The effort involved in soliciting these ideas, the proposers’ efforts in developing the proposals, and the potential benefits for CO2 sequestration should not be lost. In this spirit, the committee believes that a number of the higher-risk novel ideas that were not funded had considerable merit. These investigators should be encouraged to submit their ideas and projects through other venues. RECOMMENDATION: DOE has several procurement alternatives at its disposal for use in soliciting research. The committee recommends that DOE include topic descriptions similar to the May 2003 novel approaches solicitation in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTP) solicitations and in

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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report any Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) or other relevant forums. In addition, DOE should consider co-sponsoring solicitations with the Office of Science, thus potentially pulling into the program a distinct, new group of researchers and their ideas. Ideally DOE would repeat the May 2003 novel approaches solicitation on an annual basis so as to foster development of improved concepts and increased interest in the community. The National Research Council Process Once it had received and processed the grant proposals for novel approaches to carbon management, DOE forwarded them to the NRC for review. The committee began its review by devising a simple proposal rating system that included technical merit, the novel aspects of the project, and the likelihood that the project would lead to eventual carbon sequestration. The proposals were sent out to a set of external reviewers for comment and were also reviewed by the committee itself. During the proposal review meeting the committee divided itself into four subgroups corresponding to the four topic areas of the February 2003 workshop: advanced separation techniques, advanced subsurface technology, advanced geochemical sequestration methods, and novel niches. Then the whole committee listened to the comments of the subgroups before assigning the final scores. The committee briefly examined the review process of other DOE programs and of other granting agencies, as well as one other proposed review activity carried out by the NRC. Reviewers were provided with a careful explanation of the criteria according to which each proposal is to be judged, as well as the relative importance (weight) of each criterion. It became clear that a rating system that also takes into account the administrative aspects of a project, such as project management, could be developed. The committee believes it would be helpful for external reviewers to identify the very top proposals among those with high merit, such as by describing those among the top 5 percent the reviewer has ever seen as “outstanding,” followed by excellent (next 10 percent), good (next 25 percent), average (next 30 percent), and poor (bottom 30 percent). The quality of any proposal evaluation system depends on the integrity of the review, evaluation, and selection system. An external peer review system was considered by the committee to be a critical contributor to attracting quality proposals to this inaugural solicitation. Value Added by the NRC Process The February 2003 workshop brought together individuals with a wide variety of skills and included many who had not previously been involved in research directed at carbon management. The workshop identified 22 concepts14 that were documented in the 14   The 22 concepts were categorized within the four workshop topic areas as follows: advanced separation techniques (8 concepts), advanced subsurface technologies (4 concepts), advanced geochemical methods for sequestering carbon (6 concepts), and novel niches (4 concepts).

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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report committee’s April 2003 workshop report.15 That report formed the basis of the solicitation for proposals. The solicitation resulted in 109 proposals, about half of which were from investigators new to the area of carbon management. Of the eight proposals accepted for funding, three of these were submitted by workshop attendees. Figure 2 shows the relationship of the eight accepted proposals to the existing portfolio of projects in DOE’s Carbon Sequestration Science Program. While the additional funding for these projects is small relative to the total program, it does increase the percentage for novel projects by FIGURE 2 Funding for the DOE Carbon Sequestration Science Program by category, including funding provided for 8 additional projects resulting from the National Research Council (NRC) process. NOTE: MMV=measurement, monitoring, and verification; Non-CO2=non-CO2 greenhouse gas mitigation. SOURCES: Based on Jose Figueroa, “Novel Approaches to the Management of Greenhouse Gases from Fossil Energy Systems: U.S. DOE and NRC Lessons Learned Meeting,” presentation to the Committee on Novel Approaches to the Management of Greenhouse Gases from Energy Systems, March 17, 2004, Washington, D.C. Carbon Sequestration Project Portfolio. April 14, 2004. Washington, D.C.: U.S. DOE. 15   See footnote 2.

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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report about 50 percent. The committee believes that this shift in balance is appropriate. The eight accepted proposals corresponded to six concepts specifically identified in the April 2003 workshop report, as shown in Table 1. However this left 16 of the 22 concepts in the workshop report that were not addressed by the proposals, and some of these were among the most novel concepts.16 The committee also evaluated the proposals for technical merit as an input to the selection process. The DOE selection decisions corresponded with these evaluations. TABLE 1 Correlation of the Eight Accepted Proposals with Workshop Concepts Identified for Study in the February 2003 Workshop Concept and Correlated Proposal Funding ($) and Project Duration 1. High-temperature membranes • A new concept for the fabrication of hydrogen-selective silica membranes 237,393 (3 years) • Novel dual-functional membrane for controlling carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel power plants 871,997 (3 years) 2. Nanoscale materials as separation agents • CO2 separation with novel microporous metal organic frameworks 900,000 (3 years) 3. CO2 absorbents • Design and evaluation of ionic liquids as novel CO2 absorbents 399,409 (3 years) 4. Unconventional CO2 storage formations • Carbon dioxide sequestration in carbonate sediments below the seafloor 797,210 (3 years) • A novel approach to mineral carbonation: enhancing carbonation while avoiding mineral pretreatment process cost 558,663 (2 years) 5. Formation of iron carbonates • A novel approach to experimental studies of mineral dissolution kinetics 426,701 (3 years) 6. Biocatalysts for CO2 binding and reduction • Process design for the biocatalysis of value-added chemicals from CO2 384,275 (3 years) NOTE: Further information on these eight projects is available at www.netl.doe.gov. The success of this project to generate research proposals for novel approaches to the management of greenhouse emissions from energy systems was due largely to the technical topic outline contained within the grant solicitation, which in turn was a direct 16   All proposals fit into one of the four workshop categories, but not all could be further classified into one of the 22 concept subcategories. This made a statistical analysis of the entire suite of received proposals impossible to perform in terms of the 22 concepts. The proposals received in each of the four workshop topic areas were as follows: advanced separation techniques (46 proposals), advanced subsurface technologies (19 proposals), advanced geochemical methods for sequestering carbon (12 proposals), and novel niches (32 proposals).

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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report result of the output of the preceding NRC brainstorming workshop held in February 2003. While many novel areas for exploration were identified in the workshop, there are certainly many more novel concepts that might be stimulated by further discussion. RECOMMENDATION: Given the potential for increased future demand for techniques for the management of greenhouse gases from energy systems, the committee recommends that additional workshops be held periodically to bring together participants from widely divergent disciplines and backgrounds. Such workshops could continue to define scientific and engineering challenges, elaborate on their significance, and seed new ideas for both future solicitations and proposals for studies on novel approaches to carbon management. Dale F.Stein, Chair Committee on Novel Approaches to the Management of Greenhouse Gases from Energy Systems

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Lessons Learned from Workshop on Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Letter Report Appendix Committee on Novel Approaches to the Management of Greenhouse Gases from Energy Systems Dale F.Stein (Chair)1 President Emeritus (Retired) Michigan Technological University-Houghton Jay Ague Professor of Geology and Geophysics Yale University Thomas R.Anthony1 Staff Physicist GE Corporate Research and Development Corale L.Brierley1 President Brierley Consultancy, LLC John B.Carberry Director, Environmental Technology E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company Ananda M.Chakrabarty Distinguished University Professor University of Illinois, College of Medicine Gary Coleman Associate Professor Department of Natural Resource Sciences and LARC University of Maryland at College Park Ramon Espino Research Professor Department of Chemical Engineering University of Virginia George M.Hidy Principal Envair/Aerochem John L.Hill President UTD, Incorporated Frederick Krambeck1 President, ReacTech, Inc. Research Professor Department of Chemical Engineering Johns Hopkins University Martha A.Krebs Consultant (Science Strategies) Harold Hing Chuen Kung Professor Department of Chemical Engineering Northwestern University Alexandra Navrotsky2 Professor Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Sciences University of California, Davis Michael E.Q.Pilson Professor of Oceanography, Emeritus School of Oceanography, Bay Campus University of Rhode Island Jeffrey Siirola1 Technology Fellow Eastman Chemical Company J.Gregory Zeikus Professor Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology Michigan State University 1   Member, National Academy of Engineering. 2   Member, National Academy of Sciences. NOTE: David Keith and Robert Williams resigned from the committee effective September 5, 2003, and March 15, 2004, respectively.