More than 50 energy projects involving more than 30 private-sector partners will get a share of the nearly $20 million in funding awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Technology Transition’s Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF).

The initiative aims to commercialize promising energy technologies.

“Accelerating the transition of energy technologies from the laboratory bench to the marketplace is an important component of increasing America’s economic prosperity and energy security,” Energy Secretary Rick Perry said in a Sept. 13 news release announcing the winners. “This second round of TCF projects highlights the incredible value of DOE’s National Laboratories and the importance of bringing the department’s technology transfer mission to the American people.”

The DOE noted R&D efforts in its labs have led to technologies that ushered in products and services available today. Such technologies include the batteries that power electric vehicles, the optical digital recording technology behind DVDs and the foundation for internet services, the DOE said in the release.

The projects receiving the latest round of funding are efforts being conducted between a lab and an industry partner. The previous round included projects that needed to attract a private partner.

The list of projects includes some oil and gas technologies. Here are a few:

  • Saudi Aramco (Houston) will work with the National Energy Technology Laboratory on a drilling technology that aims to lower risks and costs with real-time downhole kick detection. The project was awarded $700,000 in funding;
  • Sandia National Laboratories is teaming up with Angstrom Thin Film Technologies LLC of Albuquerque, N.M., and Houston’s Occidental Petroleum Co., on memzyme technology for cost-effective CO2 separations in EOR. The project was awarded $300,000; and
  • The Sandia lab is also working on a technology involving downhole rotation for small-diameter drilling applications.

Hopefully, these efforts will lead to further improved efficiencies for the oil and gas industry as it continues to rebound from the latest downturn.

Velda Addison can be reached at