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Research Partners and Collaborations

The MFS team collaborates with researchers around the country and around the world.

DOE’s Consortium for Computational Physics and Chemistry (CCPC)

NETL’s expertise in multiphase flow research makes the Lab a key partner in the Consortium for Computational Physics and Chemistry (CCPC)—a joint research and development effort involving five DOE national laboratories on a mission to accelerate the discovery and deployment of novel materials that can assist in the scale-up of commercial operations that use biomass feedstocks to produce energy.

Using DOE’s state-of-the-art computational modeling facilities, CCPC work facilitates the modeling of biomass industrial technologies from the atomic scale to full process scale, reducing the cost, time, and risk in commercializing bioenergy technologies. Within CCPC, NETL is working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to pinpoint processes that can be scaled up to achieve enough efficiency to be economically sustainable.

The NETL, ORNL, and NREL collaboration specifically centers upon reactor analysis. Reactors are vessels specifically designed to contain the chemical reactions from plant-based feedstocks that release energy.

As part of the CCPC, NETL MFS supports the following programs in the EERE Bioenergy Technology Office:

The Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium (FCIC) is an integrated and collaborative network of nine U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories dedicated to addressing the technical risks that integrated pioneer biorefineries face. The goal of the FCIC is to develop science-based knowledge and tools to understand biomass feedstock and process variability, improving overall operational reliability, conversion performance, and product quality across the biomass value chain. Learn more at

ChemCatBio consists of technical capabilities experts, technology transfer/agreement experts, and data experts from eight DOE national laboratories with demonstrated experience in developing advanced catalytic materials: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Idaho National Laboratory.  ChemCatBio is part of the DOE Energy Materials Network (EMN) consortia and is led by NREL. Learn more at

Collaborative Research with the Sotacarbo Sustainable Energy Research Center

Sotacarbo and NETL have established a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement collabortive studies of gasification technologies. The work combines Sotacarbo’s extensive laboratory and pilot plant capabilities for gasification and carbon capture with MFS modeling capabilities. Sotacarbo is working with the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DoE) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to tune and validate advanced simulation models – based on advanced fluid-dynamics approach – that represent essential support to technology development and to the design of plants and components.

Collaborative studies with University of Alaska Fairbanks Team

The MFiX Suite will be used to help guide design and optimization of a downflow, moving bed gasifier design for potential installation at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). This work will validate and apply the capabilities of the toolsets and demonstrate the scale-up capability for development of novel, small-scale gasifiers. The UAF has teamed with Hamilton-Maurer International (HMI), WorleyParsons, and Sotacarbo to finance and build a novel, modular gasification-based power plant on the UAF campus for combined heat and power. The gasifier will use subbituminous Usibelli coal from Alaska. There is the potential to mix coal and biomass material. Small-scale gasifier data obtained through the Sotacarbo Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) have been used to develop and validate gasifier models based on feedstocks (Usibelli coal, biomass) relevant to this application. HMI is proposing to scale up this moving bed system from 5 MWth (input) to 22 MWth (input). Simulations of this system are being used to help reduce the risks inherent in multiphase reactor scale-up.