Research

Multiphase Flow Science (MFS) research and development at NETL is funded by U.S. Department of Energy programs, primarily from the Office of Fossil Energy.  The work emphasizes energy and environmental applications including: gasification, carbon capture using solid sorbents or liquid solvents, and chemical-looping combustion of gaseous and solid fuels.  MFS research also supports DOE’s Office of Environmental Management for analysis of thermochemical processes for environmental remediation of radioactive wastes.

MFS support of DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) is focused on FE’s mission to ensure the nation can rely on traditional energy resources for clean energy while enhancing environmental protection.   MFS research is sponsored by the following FE Clean Coal Research Programs:

  • Advanced Energy Systems – including Gasification Technologies and Advanced Combustion;
  • Crosscutting Research – Simulation-Based Engineering and Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative (CCSI) Technology Areas;

The MFS team works to improve the understanding of both fundamental multiphase physics and the performance of multiphase devices that underpin technologies used in these research programs.

In FE’s Advanced Energy Systems Programs, MFS research supports Gasification Technologies and Advanced Combustion.  These energy technology areas have many multiphase flow challenges to address, including:

  • complex homogeneous and heterogeneous chemistry for coal, biomass, metal oxide oxygen carriers, and catalytic materials;
  • Multiphase flow regimes spanning packed bed to dilute transport, often in the same device;
  • Multiple modes of heat transfer at high temperature including radiation;
  • Broad range of particle sizes and densities;
  • Complex particle-particle and particle-boundary interactions including attrition and agglomeration;

Details on this research work can be found on our Gasification and Chemical Looping Combustion pages.

In the Crosscutting Research Technology Areas, MFS research works in the areas of Simulation-Based Engineering and Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative (CCSI).

MFS supports the program by performing fundamental research in complex multiphase flow simulation and by working closely with research groups outside NETL that are doing similar research supported by this program.  Research performed external to NETL is often incorporated into MFS tools, e.g. new constitutive laws incorporated into MFiX, new measurement techniques used in MFS experimentation.  Additional detail on this work can be found at Simulation-Based Engineering.

MFS supports the CCSI program by providing validated MFiX-based CFD tools for the CCSI Toolset.  These CFD tools provide insight into design and operation of solid sorbent and solvent-based carbon capture devices to help accelerate commercialization of these technologies.