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You are here:  State-by-State Project Profiles > New Mexico

DOE Fossil Energy R&D Projects in New Mexico


Number of Projects

Total Value*
(Million $)

DOE Share
(Million $)

Job Benefits**

Coal & Power Projects





Oil & Gas Projects





*Includes DOE and private sector cost-sharing

**An average of 28.5 direct and indirect jobs per $1 million in R&D funding is used based on the Department of Commerce Regional Input-Output Modeling System formula.

University Project Developing Sensors for Coal-Fired Power Systems

  • Nanocrystalline Sensors for Power Plants - The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM, is designing, fabricating and testing a new type of nanocrystalline doped-ceramic-coated optical fiber sensor device suitable for in-situ and real time gas monitoring in fossil energy systems. Novel sensors are needed for the harsh environment of advanced power generation systems. DOE is providing $528,000 to this $703,000 project.

Sandia National Laboratory Investigates Carbon Sequestration

  • Sequestration of CO2 in Depleted Oil Reservoir - Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, will use a comprehensive suite of computer simulations, laboratory tests, field measurements and monitoring to understand, predict, and efficiently monitor the coupled geomechancial, geochemical , and hydrogeologic processes associated with downhole injection of CO2 into a depleted oil reservoir. DOE is fully funding this $2.6 million project.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Efforts to Address CO2 Sequestration and Develop Hydrogen Membranes

  • Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM, is the home of five fully-funded DOE projects with a combined value of $5.18 million.

    • Geologic Carbon Sequestration Modeling - DOE is providing full funding for a $1.5 million project at LANL that will use experimental data to define the kinetics and mechanisms of several key reactions relevant to geologic sequestration. This data will be used to develop a conceptual model to evaluate the geochemical/mineralogical evolution of specific CO2-water-rock combinations. These predictions will allow the evaluation of the role of mineral reactions on the integrity of hydrodynamic seals.

    • Novel Monitoring Tools for Geologic Sequestration - LANL will address specific monitoring challenges as opposed tp specific monitoring technologies. These monitoring challenges are intimately tied to DOE-FE/NETL's Carbon Sequestration Roadmap. By focusing on monitoring challenges, LANL hopes to develop a program that can assess multiple potential technologies or approaches and prioritize research directions dynamically based on a specific pathway's likelihood of addressing the challenge. Once a promising approach is identified, LANL plans to progress rapidly from concept to the point of field deplyment, thereby allowing technology-development efforts to move on to other monitoring challenges. DOE is fully funding this $900,000 project.

    • Production of Pure Hydrogen from Hydrocarbons - LANL will redesign a palladium membrane reactor for the extraction of hydrogen from fossil fuels. A composite palladium membrane will be developed to reduce the membrane's cost and to increase its hydrogen flux. DOE is fully funding this $1.03 million project.

    • Carbon Sequestration in a Depleted Oil Reservoir - LANL researchers will use a comprehensive suite of computer simulations, laboratory tests, field measurements and monitoring to understand, predict and monitor the coupled geomechanical, geochemical and hydrogeologic processes associated with downhole injection of C02 into a depleted oil reservoir.  The project takes advantage of unique test opportunities in a pressure-depleted oil reservoir to predict and monitor the migration and ultimate fate of injected CO2 at a micro-pilot scale field experiment. DOE is fully funding this $1.6 million project. 

    • Metal Membranes for Hydrogen Purification - LANL will develop robust palladium alloy coated metal foil membrane modules for use in the purification of hydrogen, and in membrane reactors. DOE is fully funding this $150,000 project.

University Projects in New Mexico Seek to Boost Oil Production
  • The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMIMT), Socorro, NM, is working on five projects involving improvements in oil and gas recovery from U.S. reservoirs. DOE is providing $3.26 million of the $4.57 million total cost for the projects.

    • Improved CO2 Flooding Efficiency - Researchers at NMIMT will develop adsorption/desorption models for reservoir rock at reservoir conditions; determine economic sweep efficiency/injectivity criteria for reservoir scale systems; expand foam gas flooding to shallow reservoirs; and develp models and modules for simulating carbon dioxide flooding mechanisms. CO2 flooding has both the greatest promise for additional oil recovery and the potential to economically support carbon management goals of the US. This is the only IOR method that has experienced a steady increase in projects and oil production over the last two decades. DOE is funding $800,000 of this $1.2 million project.

    • Expert System Software for Locating Oil and Gas Reserves - NMIMT is creating a user-defined and customizable fuzzy expert system tool to dramatically speed local and regional play analysis and reduce subsequent drilling risk. This general tool will not require significant knowledge of computer programming, and will guide users through the process of building a successful expert system to evaluate plays from field to basin scale using public and/or private data and their own or public expertise. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the tool, researchers will analyze the Pennsylvanian play of SE New Mexico. DOE is funding $523,000 of this $785,000 project.

    • Gel Treatment to Reduce Channeling - The objective of this NMIMT project is to develop aperture-tolerant, chemical-based methods to reduce channeling through voids (e.g., fractures, vugs, karst) during hydrocarbon production. DOE is contributing $524,000 to this $786,000 project.

    • Treating Coalbed Methane Produced Water - Coalbed methane (CBM) and oilfield produced waters contain dissolved salts and organics in wide ranges of concentration. Inappropriate disposal of these produced waters will contaminate soil and groundwater and surface water systems. This project at NMIMT aims to develop a new technology of reverse osmosis through molecular sieve zeolite membranes to efficiently treat CBM produced water for beneficial use. DOE is contributing $855,000 to this $1.1 million project.   

    • Technology to Recover Residual Oil Reserves - NMIT will evaluate a technology that was developed at the Institute for Geology and Development of Fossil Fuels in Moscow, Russia.  This technology involves in situ generation of carbon dioxide to recover trapped residual oil from reservoirs.  In Phase I, NMIMT will verify if the Russian formulations generate sufficient preessure and CO2 concentration in situ, allowing miscibility to be attained with typical oils.  Phase II will evaluate how effectively the foams genereated by this process improve sweep efficiency in porous rock with a range of permeabilities.  DOE is contributing $559,000 to this $700,000 project. 


 Page owner:  Fossil Energy Office of Communications
Page updated on: January 30, 2008 

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