Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced its intent to issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) that will advance high impact applied research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the U.S. industrial sector. The FOA, led by EERE’s Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO), will drive innovation to develop the next-generation technologies required to decarbonize industry and move the U.S. towards a clean energy economy for all Americans.
Decarbonizing the industrial sector is critical to achieving the nation’s climate goals. In 2020, the industrial sector accounted for 33% of the nation’s primary energy use and 30% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. However, the industrial sector is considered one of the most difficult to decarbonize due to the diversity and complexity of energy inputs, processes, and operations. Achieving net-zero emissions across the U.S. economy by 2050 will require an aggressive, multidimensional approach to eliminating industrial emissions.
This upcoming funding opportunity is part of an integrated, industrial decarbonization technology development strategy for DOE’s basic and applied research offices. Rooted in the principles identified in the 2022 Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap, DOE is building an innovation pipeline to accelerate the development and adoption of industrial decarbonization technologies with investments spanning foundational science; research, development, and demonstrations (RD&D); and technical assistance and workforce development. This FOA will also advance the goal of the Industrial Heat Shot™, which aims to develop cost-competitive industrial heat decarbonization technologies with at least 85% lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.
Following on from the Roadmap and the funding opportunity released last September, the FOA will focus on cross-sector approaches to industrial decarbonization and is expected to include the following topics:
Topic 1: Decarbonizing Industrial Heat — In support of DOE’s Industrial Heat Shot™ this topic will focus on developing equipment to decarbonize 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 Utilization RD&D —This topic will focus on innovations to develop equipment capable of utilizing low-carbon fuels, like 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).
Topic 3: Exploratory Cross-Sector R&D will include emerging R&D areas for technologies and materials that enable industrial decarbonization.
- Subtopic 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: Decarbonizing Chemicals — This topic will focus on decarbonization technologies for high-volume chemicals with significant CO2 emissions, including advanced separations processes, advanced reactor systems, and dynamic catalyst science.
Topic 5: Decarbonizing Iron and Steel —This topic will focus on decarbonization opportunities in iron and steel production, with potential areas of interest including: innovative manufacturing technologies to enable decarbonization; electrification of existing manufacturing processes; overcoming challenges associated with utilizing hydrogen in steelmaking; and addressing scrap contaminants in recycling.
Topic 6: Decarbonizing 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: Decarbonizing 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 decarbonized production processes for Portland cement or lime; novel, low-carbon non-ordinary Portland cement formulations; and CO2 mineralization.
Topic 8: Decarbonizing Forest Products — This topic will focus on decarbonization opportunities in energy-intensive drying, paper forming, and pulping processes.
EERE plans to issue the FOA via EERE Exchange in March 2023. The funding opportunity is expected to include approximately $156 million in federal funding. EERE envisions awarding multiple financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements. The estimated period of performance for each award will be approximately three years.
Learn more about IEDO and its work to accelerate the innovation and adoption of cost-effective technologies that eliminate industrial GHG emissions.