DOE Allocates $78 Million to Decarbonize Chemicals Manufacturing - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Industrial  -  October 26, 2023

DOE Allocates $78 Million to Decarbonize Chemicals Manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $78 million in funding will be provided  to decarbonize chemicals manufacturing and advance cross-sector industrial technologies.

The DOE’s Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO) announced renewed funding for the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Institute — one of DOE’s seven Manufacturing USA Institutes. 

The five-year, $40 million investment will propel research, development and demonstrations (RD&D) of advanced process technologies to enable more resilient, reduced energy and carbon footprint manufacturing in the process industries. This includes the production of chemicals and fuels, which account for more than one-third of all U.S. industrial emissions and energy consumption.

RAPID’s work will rethink traditional unit operations by transitioning them to efficient, integrated processes via advanced reactors and separators that can utilize low-carbon energy sources and sustainable feedstocks. 

Developing and deploying sustainable feedstocks are a key priority of DOE, and RAPID’s work will align with the Clean Fuels & Products Shot, the Energy Earthshot™ initiative focused on decarbonizing the chemicals supply chain by advancing cost-effective technologies that use alternative sources of carbon.

Phase two of RAPID will expand on the core competencies that the Institute has developed, improving centralized processing systems to enable flexible, distributed manufacturing and utilizing process intensification principles. This includes combining multiple process steps such as mixing, reaction and separation into integrated, intensified processes to reduce the emissions footprint of the process industries. The focus will be on difficult-to-decarbonize products, including specialty and performance chemicals, high-volume chemicals, sustainable aviation fuels and e-fuels. 

The DOE also announced a Notice of Intent (NOI) to release a funding opportunity for $38 million to develop cross-sector technologies for the industrial sector. The funding opportunity will seek projects to further support the goals of the Industrial Heat Shot™ and the DOE Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap by supporting high-impact, applied RD&D projects to advance the transformational cross-sector technologies and innovations required to reduce energy use and GHG emissions across the industrial sector. 

The funding opportunity will include projects for the electrification of industrial heat, next-generation energy systems, and decarbonizing organic wastewater and wet waste treatment. 

“RAPID’s renewal and the cross-sector technologies funding opportunity advance IEDO’s multipronged approach to eliminating industrial emissions both broadly and within the hardest-to-decarbonize industries including chemicals manufacturing,” said IEDO’s Director Dr. Avi Shultz in a statement. “These investments in American innovation move us one step closer to the adoption of cost-effective technologies that eliminate industrial GHG emissions and pave the way to a clean energy economy.”

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