NREL Takes Part In Three Winning Proposals For Federal Funding On Carbon Removal MRV

NREL Takes Part In Three Winning Proposals For Federal Funding On Carbon Removal MRV - Carbon Herald

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) – the federally funded research and development center, is taking part in three out of four winning proposals that will receive $15 million in funding for research on improving the measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) of carbon dioxide (CO2) removal technologies.

The winning lab calls were announced in May 2023 and are part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), accredited by the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), in partnership with the Offices of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) and Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED). 

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NREL will lead two of the winning proposals and collaborate on a third led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The forth proposal is led by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in collaboration with LLNL and industry partners. 

The four projects are as follows:

  • NREL leads a project to develop and validate MRV best practices for cement and concrete carbon dioxide removal pathways – the technologies covered use atmospheric CO2 to form carbonate rocks that will be used in concrete – a method providing permanent carbon removal via CO2 utilization. The project is in collaboration with LLNL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Cornell University, Jackson State University, and the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Industry partners include Sigray, Solidia Cement, CarbonCure Technologies, Carbon Upcycling Technologies, Nucor Steel Auburn, and Ash Grove Cement Company.
  • The second project led by NREL is addressing critical MRV challenges for hybrid biomass-based carbon removal and storage pathways. The project is in collaboration with LLNL, Yale Carbon Containment Lab, and industry partners. It seeks to further understand the durability of various biomass sources, bio-derived products, and storage scenarios using lab and field experiments with data-informed life cycle assessment models. The best practices and protocols for this developed MRV framework will guide decision-making for existing hybrid technologies.
  • The third project is led by LLNL in collaboration with NREL and involves the development of common protocols and guidelines around measuring the key aspects of additionality, durability, and economic leakage. This Umbrella MRV Framework will aim to increase investors’ confidence and support the U.S.’s goal of net-zero emissions. Other partners are CarbonPlan, Stripe, Lowercarbon Capital, Isometric, and Carbon Direct.
  • The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and 22 industry partners will develop an adaptive MRV framework for mineralization-based carbon dioxide removal pathways. The institutions will work closely with communities, especially mining towns and coastal communities which are prime candidates for mineralization-based carbon dioxide removal, to understand how MRV can address their needs and concerns for increased trust and acceptance of carbon dioxide removal interventions.

The projects aim to offer leadership in the MRV process as there is a strong need from the industry for established, renowned and trusted such frameworks. The projects also seek to integrate engineering, chemical, geophysical, modeling, and community-centered MRV protocols into a unified collection of guidelines. 

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“That’s what ties everything together… We’re trying to put some numbers and standard practices to CO2 removal. The way we diverge is that we’re all looking at different CO2 removal pathways,” said NREL Research Scientist Kerry Rippy.

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