7 May 2010

SustainableBusiness.com

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced 48 research and development projects across the country have been selected as award winners of the Industrial Energy Efficiency Grand Challenge. 

The grantees will receive a total of US$13 million to fund the development of transformational industrial processes and technologies that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The funding will be matched by more than $5 million in private industry funding to support a total of $18 million in projects.

American industry accounts for more than 30% of the energy used nationwide, is responsible for 27% of the country’s carbon emissions, and supports nearly 13 million core manufacturing jobs. With such a large impact on the nation’s economic and environmental interests, the industrial sector remains a major part of the nation’s clean energy equation.

Through the Grand Challenge and its Industrial Technologies Program, the Department is working to forge partnerships that capitalize on the leadership and commercialization strengths of industrial companies, harness the innovative research and modelling capabilities of universities, and use the unique development and testing facilities at National Laboratories.

DOE is providing cost-shared funding for concept-definition research and development studies in four main topic areas:

Next Generation Manufacturing Concepts – These manufacturing concepts address the goal of reducing the energy intensity or greenhouse gas emissions of industrial systems by a minimum of 25%.

Energy Intensive Processes – These projects address specific technology areas that are expected to generate large energy-saving benefits across a variety of industries and transform the way major manufacturing processes use energy. The following specific technology areas are included: Reactions and Separations; High-Temperature Processing; Waste Heat Minimization and Recovery; and Sustainable Manufacturing.

Advanced Materials – These projects focus on Thermal and Degradation Resistant Materials and Materials for Energy Systems.

Industrial Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction – These projects address transformational technologies that offer not only carbon intensity reductions, but also absolute carbon reductions.

Awardees include major corporations like GE (NYSE: GE), Alcoa (NYSE: AA) and 3M (NYSE: MMM), institutions like North Carolina State University and Northwestern University, and smaller companies.