Office: Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office 
Available Funding: $1.4 million 
FOA Number: DE-FOA-0002903

Description 

On July 10, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $72 million in funding to support 296 projects through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. This investment includes $1.4 million in Phase I proof of concept grants for 7 projects funded by the Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO), within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

Through the SBIR and STTR programs, IEDO provides non-dilutive funding to small business research and development projects that improve energy efficiency and drive industrial decarbonization. The seven projects will also have the opportunity to advance to Phase II based on their progress during Phase I.  

Topic Areas 

Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization

A topic focused on activities that address decarbonization in energy- and emissions-intensive industries and cross-sector industrial emissions technologies. 

Awardee: Creekside Environmental Products 

Federal Funding: $200,000  

Project Description: This project will develop a novel Metal-Cation-induced Surface Nano-Engineering (MX+-SNE) technology to manufacture polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)-free water- and oil-resistant packaging paper and tableware. If successful, this project could lead to a low-cost, biodegradable alternative to plastics and toxic PFAS-coated paper in the food packaging industry, creating fully recyclable packaging. The proposed project can potentially eliminate the use of PFAS in consumer food packaging, reducing the impact of consumer goods on the environment.

Awardee: Physical Sciences Inc. 

Federal Funding: $199,985 

Project Description: This project will develop a heat exchanger technology for high temperature thermal energy storage (HTTS) that leverages additive manufacturing for fabrication of a customized device designed to simplify system integration while improving heat recovery and reuse cost effectiveness. By simplifying system integration, this project hopes to accelerate the adoption of flexible and high temperature technologies that can displace the need for fossil fuel-based process heat. 

Full Title: Decarbonization of Building Materials: Rapid, Low Cost and Room Temperature Manufacturing of Next-Generation Cementitious Materials with ~97% Industrial Wastes

Awardee: C-Crete Technologies 

Federal Funding: $200,000 

Project Description: This project will demonstrate a universal approach to turn various industrial wastes (slag, ash, etc.) to cementitious binders. Such an approach will utilize eco-friendly low-cost alternatives and industrial waste to produce materials that rival Ordinary Portland Cement in performance. This universal approach has the potential to produce multiple eco-friendly, low-carbon alternatives to carbon-intensive cement.  

Awardee: Skyhaven Systems, LLC 

Federal Funding: $206,500 

Project Description: This project will develop and demonstrate a new microchannel electrochemical reactor to economically produce ammonia. Ammonia, a high volume energy-and emissions- intensive chemical, accounts for 1.8% of global CO2 emissions. The project will produce an electrochemical reactor that feeds water and nitrogen to a multitude of micro-channel cells to drive the reaction with clean energy. The reactor design will increase the production rate of ammonia by overcoming equilibrium limitations in ammonia synthesis, producing a more energy efficient process.

Awardee: Mainstream Engineering Corporation 

Federal Funding: $199,807 

Project Description: This project will demonstrate a polymer heat exchanger that has metal-like thermal conductivity using low-cost materials and conventional processing techniques to achieve a lighter, easier to install, and more cost-effective (45% reduction) unit than traditional metallic heat exchangers with similar performances. Heat exchangers are a key thermal management tool within industry—more cost-effective, easier-to-install heat exchangers can enable more efficient industrial operations. 

Awardee: Storagenergy Technologies, Inc. 

Federal Funding: $200,000 

Project Description: This project will develop a novel electrolysis process, called Electrolysis of Fe Ore in Acidic Media (EFOAM), to continuously convert Fe ore (Fe oxide) to Fe metal and oxygen at low temperatures (25-90 C). This project has the potential to electrify the iron and steel industry. 

Fuel Cell and Electrolyzer Recycling

A joint topic with other EERE technology offices to develop innovative manufacturing of clean energy technologies, advance novel recycling processes for critical materials, and facilitate wide-spread adoption of hydrogen production and use.  

Project Title: Precious Metal Recovery and Recycling for Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers at End-of-Life 

Awardee: FC Renew 

Federal Funding: $200,000 

Project Description: This project will develop a novel process to remove and recover platinum group metals (PGMs) from assembled end-of-life fuel cells that do not leach hazardous fluorinated substances into the environment to obtain high-yield recovery platinum. With a limited supply of PGMs, this project will support a more secure supply chain for key fuel cell technologies.