Anticipate opening in December 2023
- Energy Infrastructure
- Environmental Clean-up
Reserved for Energy
The industrial sector is considered one of the most difficult to decarbonize because of 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, multi-dimensional approach to eliminating industrial emissions. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will advance the Biden Administration’s goals to “deliver an equitable, clean energy future, and put the United States on a path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050” to the benefit of all Americans.
To attain these goals, DOE provides funding, management, and the strategic direction necessary for a balanced national program of research, development, and demonstration (RD&D), as well as technical assistance and workforce development, to drive transformative innovation in energy, materials, and production efficiency and to accelerate decarbonization across the industrial sector. DOE’s RD&D strategy focuses on two complementary approaches: tackling subsector-specific decarbonization challenges through the energy- and emissions-intensive industries and pursuing cross-sector challenges that are common across many industries.
This FOA will be focused on subsector-specific decarbonization approaches for the highest emitting and most challenging to address industrial subsectors.
This FOA will focus on applied R&D and pilot demonstration for the highest greenhouse gas (GHG)-emitting subsectors, specifically: chemicals and fuels; iron and steel; food and beverage; building and infrastructure materials (including cement and concrete, asphalt pavements, and glass); and forest products. Technology approaches include achieving cost and emissions savings through increased circularity and sustainability across manufacturing to reduce waste and decrease the need for resource extraction. The FOA will fund research, development, and prototype or pilot-scale technology validation and demonstration activities that will accelerate the development and adoption of sustainable technologies that increase efficiency and eliminate industrial GHG emissions for the most energy- and emissions- intensive industrial subsectors. These activities will contribute to a clean and equitable energy economy, bolster the technological and economic competitiveness of domestic manufacturing, and boost the viability and competitiveness of U.S. industrial technology exports.
There may be six areas of interest in this FOA. Topics 1 through 5 are anticipated to allow for multiple tiers of funding including initial laboratory validations to seed future work, a tier for research and development-only projects, and a tier for projects that include scope for technology demonstration for research and development-only projects and a tier for projects that include scope for technology demonstration integrated into industrial operations. Topics may allow applications between Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 2 and 7. Topic 6 is anticipated to support preliminary front-end engineering (Pre-FEED) projects.
- Topic 1: Decarbonizing Chemicals and Fuels – The chemicals industry supports over 25% of the U.S. GDP and emits the most carbon of any U.S. manufacturing subsector. This topic is anticipated to focus on addressing challenges specific to chemical processes and related to improving energy and material efficiency, utilizing low-carbon energy sources, and advancing technologies that utilize sustainable chemical feedstocks. Potential areas of interest include advanced processes to enable conversion of sustainable feedstocks for high-volume energy- and emissions-intensive hydrocarbon chemicals and fuels, advanced processes for production of non-hydrocarbon products, and chemical value chain decarbonization through alternative chemical pathways for fuels and products.
- Topic 2: Decarbonizing Iron and Steel – Steel is a vital material for many economic sectors, with uses in transportation, buildings, infrastructure, and industrial equipment. This topic is anticipated to focus on decarbonization opportunities in iron and steel production. Potential areas of interest include RD&D in alternative ironmaking, iron ore quality improvements including ore beneficiation, improving circularity through minimizing/removing elemental contamination, and low-carbon steelmaking technologies.
- Topic 3: Decarbonizing Food and Beverage Products – The food and beverage industry employed 1.7 million workers to produce and ship nearly $900 billion of products in 2018, making this industry an important employment and economic driver. Potential areas of interest for this topic include innovations in food packaging, low-energy and low-carbon innovations in commercial foodservice, decarbonization of alternative protein production, energy recombination in food and beverage processing, and reduction of energy consumption and GHG emissions during post-harvesting activities.
- Topic 4: Decarbonizing Cement and Concrete, Asphalt Pavements, and Glass – Glass, asphalt, cement, and concrete play an essential role in the U.S. economy and are used in buildings, roadways, infrastructure, and consumer products. Potential areas of interest include: low-carbon asphalt pavement materials; novel concrete binders and formulations; novel portland cement production processes; and glass decarbonization through alternative feedstocks, more tolerant formulaon, and enhanced post-consumer recycling.
- Topic 5: Decarbonizing Forest Products – The U.S. forest products industry is the third-largest energy consumer in the U.S. manufacturing sector and contributes 8% of total energy-related emissions from U.S. manufacturing. This topic is anticipated to focus on decarbonization opportunities. Potential areas of interest include novel dewatering or drying technologies and innovative fiber preparation, pulping, and chemical recovery processes.
- Topic 6 Industrial Pre-FEED Studies – Net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 for the industrial sector will be achieved through implementing complementary and integrated approaches and technologies. It is anticipated that this topic would include pre-Front-End Engineering and Design (pre-FEED) studies that support the development of decarbonized industrial processes using approaches that include pre-commercial technologies. Potential pre-FEED areas of interest could include: (a) integration of green hydrogen as a feedstock in chemicals, iron, and steel production; (b) carbon capture for select industrial sectors; and (c) integrated process and capture for chemical production, mineral processing, and iron and steel.
DOE plans to issue the FOA in or about December 2023 via the EERE eXCHANGE website: https://eere-eXCHANGE.energy.gov.
This notice of intent is issued so that interested parties are aware of DOE’s intention to issue this FOA in the near term. All the information contained in this notice is subject to change. DOE will not respond to questions concerning this notice. Once the FOA has been released, DOE will provide an avenue for potential applicants to submit questions.