The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Technologies OfficeIndustrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office, and Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office have released over $6.1 million for seven projects from their joint FY23 Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) Lab Call for reducing embodied carbon and operational energy from materials, buildings, and industrial processes.

The TCF, managed by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions, is part of a broad array of activities that DOE and its national laboratories undertake to ensure federal R&D investments in technologies with commercial potential find their way to a viable market. This process better enables DOE’s national labs to prepare and mature technologies for commercial adoption, identify the highest-quality prospective partners, and assist those industry partners in evaluating technologies for their business models.

The selections are listed here and explained further on AMMTO’s website:

From Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL):

  • Non-Isocyanate, Biobased Spray Foam Insulation – Dupont will help ORNL identify and overcome commercialization barriers associated with the lab’s biobased spray foam insulation (provisional patent application 63/461,646), which is a nontoxic, low-carbon, and recyclable alternative to conventional isocyanate-based spray foam insulation that is carbon intensive and requires protective equipment to install.
  • Advanced Desiccant Clothes Dryers with a Heat Recovery System – Samsung Electronics America and the University of South Carolina will prepare ORNL’s novel desiccant-based clothes dryer for commercial adoption. This dryer draws power from a 120V household outlet instead of a special 240 V outlet that typical electric dryers require, and electricians must install when absent (such as households that use gas-powered dryers).
  • Additive Manufacturing of Polymer Composite Heat Exchangers for Heat Pumps and Electronics Cooling Operation – Johnson Controls and Carrier will help ORNL further develop its 3D-printed heat exchanger that, compared to conventional ones, transfers 400% more heat, is 30% cheaper to manufacture, opens the door for low global warming potential (low-GWP) refrigerants, and decreases the amount of refrigerant needed by 40%.
  • Development and Demonstration of the Heat Pump with Ultra-High Sink Temperature – Carrier will help ORNL further develop its high-temperature heat pump that recovers and upgrades industrial waste heat for industrial settings – a unique industrial drying approach that runs on electricity.
  • Low-Carbon, Fire Resilient Exterior Siding – Vitriform3D, a LEEP fellow at ORNL, will further develop an ORNL-developed binder material and integrate it into its recycled glass-based exterior siding for buildings, which they can additively manufacture with 75% less emissions than conventional siding at roughly the same cost.
  • Inconel-718 Printed Circuit Heat Exchanger with Micro-Channels for Optimal Thermal Performance of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Cycles – EarthEn, a LEEP fellow at ORNL, will leverage an ORNL-developed process to optimize its 3D-printed circuit heat exchanger used in concentrated solar molten salt power plants. Their heat exchanger is more efficient than current commercial alternatives and operable at extremely high temperatures of 700 C or more.

From National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL):

  • Efficient Decarbonization of Heating using a Cascade Heat Pump with Phase-Change Thermal Storage – Trane and NetEnergy will help NREL further develop its thermal-storage-integrated cold climate heat pump that uses cascade compression with a variable speed compressor to pull heat from the TES system while the coil defrosts. This innovation allows for continuous heating and potentially eliminates the need for additional heating systems like electrical heaters.

These promising approaches, if successfully commercialized, can lead to the deployment of clean energy and decarbonization technologies critical for climate protection. Visit DOE’s Technology Commercialization Fund to learn more about this program.

Selection for award negotiations is not a commitment by DOE to issue an award or provide funding. Before funding is issued, DOE and the applicants will undergo a negotiation process, and DOE may cancel negotiations and rescind the selection for any reason during that time.