ULTIMATE Refractory Alloy Innovations for Superior Efficiency (RAISE)

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Niskayuna, New York
Project Term:
05/12/2021 - 07/11/2024

Technology Description:

GE Research has proposed transformational material solutions to potentially enable a gas turbine blade alloy-coating system capable of operating at a turbine inlet temperature of 1800 °C for more than 30,000 hours. GE aims to develop a (1) niobium (Nb)-based alloy that can operate at 1300 °C (2372 °F), (2) coating system consisting of a novel oxidation resistant bond coat compatible with the new Nb-based alloy, and (3) thermal barrier coating for improved durability that can operate at 1700 °C (3092 °F) and a scalable manufacturing process for producing internally cooled gas turbine blades with the new alloy. Application of the new technologies to existing combined cycle gas turbines in the U.S. could increase the thermal efficiency by approximately 7%. If the benefit could be applied to the entire installed base of combined cycle gas generation across the country, it would yield $100 billion of net present value and reduce CO2 emissions by 23 million metric tons (equivalent to emissions from 5 million cars).

Potential Impact:

Combining development of new ultrahigh temperature materials with compatible coatings and manufacturing technologies has the potential to increase gas turbine efficiency up to 7%, which will significantly reduce wasted energy and carbon emissions.


Coal-fired and nuclear-powered plant electricity generation is uneconomical, unsafe, outdated, and/or contributes to significant CO2 emissions. Increasing gas turbine efficiency is critical to ensuring that plants can effectively deploy their capacity to the grid, increasing energy security.


Improving gas turbine efficiency can significantly reduce carbon emissions from air travel, which represents 2% of all global carbon emissions.


By 2050, a 7% efficiency improvement in the natural gas turbines used for U.S. electricity generation could save up to 15-16 quads of energy; in civilian aircraft turbines, 3-4 quads of energy could be saved for U.S. air travel.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Philseok Kim
Project Contact:
Dr. Michael Worku
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