How does industrial decarbonization work? What is DOE doing to decarbonize the US economy? Clean energy research, development, & demonstration (RD&D) is undertaken across four key pillars:

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a foundational, crosscutting decarbonization strategy and is the most cost-effective option for GHG emission reductions in the near term. Decarbonization efforts include:

  • Strategic energy management approaches to optimize performance of industrial processes at the system-level
  • Systems management and optimization of thermal heat from manufacturing process heating, boiler, and combined heat and power (CHP) sources
  • Smart manufacturing and advanced data analytics to increase energy productivity in manufacturing processes

Industrial Electrification

Leveraging advancements in low-carbon electricity from both grid and onsite renewable generation sources will be critical to decarbonization efforts. Decarbonization efforts include:

  • Electrification of process heat using induction, radiative heating, or advanced heat pumps
  • Electrification of high-temperature range processes such as those found in iron, steel, and cement making
  • Replacing thermally-driven processes with electrochemical ones

Low Carbon Fuels and Feedstocks

Substituting low-and no-carbon fuel and feedstocks reduces combustion-associated emissions for industrial processes. Decarbonization efforts include:

  • Development of fuel-flexible processes
  • Integration of hydrogen fuels and feedstocks into industrial applications
  • The use of biofuels and bio feedstocks

Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS)            

CCUS refers to the multi-component strategy of capturing generated carbon dioxide (CO2) from a point source and utilizing the captured CO2 to make value-added products or storing it long-term to avoid release. Decarbonization efforts include:

  • Post-combustion chemical absorption of CO2
  • Development and manufacturing optimization of advanced CO2 capture materials that improve efficiency and lower cost of capture
  • Development of processes to utilize captured CO2 to manufacture new materials