US DOE announces $156M in funding for decarbonisation projections

April 12, 2023

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has announced a $156 million funding opportunity which is intended to advance high-impact applied research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the US industrial sector. This funding opportunity represents follow-on investment to the $104 million funding opportunity released last September.

In 2020, the industrial sector accounted for 33% of the US’ primary energy use and 30% of energy-related CO2 emissions. The industrial sector is also one of the most complex due to the wide diversity of energy inputs, processes, and operations.

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) focuses on the variety of cross-sector approaches to industrial decarbonisation, and advances the goal of the Industrial Heat Shot, which aims to develop cost-competitive industrial heat decarbonisation technologies with at least 85% lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. The FOA also complements DOE’s recently released $6 billion funding opportunity for the Industrial Demonstrations Program.

The FOA includes the following topics:

Topic 1: Decarbonising industrial heat – In support of DOE’s Industrial Heat Shot, this topic will focus on developing equipment to decarbonise thermal processes across the industrial sector, with potential areas of interest including: electrification of industrial heat; innovative low- and no-heat processes, and industrial heat pumps.

Topic 2: Low-carbon fuels utilisation RD&D – This topic will focus on innovations to develop equipment capable of utilising low-carbon fuels – such as hydrogen and hydrogen blends – with potential areas of interest including: mitigating hydrogen combustion impacts on material and product quality; developing hydrogen-based combustion systems; and low-carbon input, flexible combined heat and power (CHP).

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Topic 3: Exploratory cross-sector R&D – This topic will include emerging R&D areas for technologies and materials that enable industrial decarbonisation.

  • 3a: Enabling flexible industrial energy use – This subtopic will focus on emerging transformational technologies that maintain manufacturing resilience and economic competitiveness while integrating renewable energy into industrial manufacturing processes. Potential areas of interest include industrial load flexibility and thermal energy storage systems.
  • Subtopic 3b: Enhanced thermal conductivity materials – This subtopic, funded by the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO), will focus on enhanced thermal conductivity materials to improve the performance and efficiency of electrified thermal processing equipment.

Topic 4: Decarbonising chemicals – This topic will focus on decarbonisation technologies for high-volume chemicals with significant CO2 emissions, including advanced separations processes, advanced reactor systems, and dynamic catalyst science.

Topic 5: Decarbonising iron and steel – This topic will focus on decarbonisation opportunities in iron and steel production, with potential areas of interest including: innovative manufacturing technologies to enable decarbonisation; electrification of existing manufacturing processes; overcoming challenges associated with utilising hydrogen in steelmaking; and addressing scrap contaminants in recycling.

Topic 6: Decarbonising food and beverage products – This topic will focus on low- and zero-carbon solutions for process heating, cooling, and refrigeration in a wide variety of energy-intensive food and beverage operations.

Topic 7: Decarbonising cement and concrete. This topic will focus on addressing cement’s direct process emissions, with potential areas of interest including: sustainably sourced supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) for clinker substitutions and blended cements; novel decarbonised production processes for Portland cement or lime; novel, low-carbon non-ordinary Portland cement formulations; and CO2 mineralisation.

Topic 8: Decarbonising forest products. This topic will focus on decarbonisation opportunities in energy-intensive drying, paper forming, and pulping processes.

Submission deadline for concept papers is April 17, 2023. Further information is available via the US Department of Energy’s website.

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