The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the REMADE Institute announced more than $16 million in research and development funding for 23 projects that will reduce energy use and carbon emissions associated with industrial-scale materials production, processing, and recycling. Among the projects selected are six that are associated with the aluminum industry.
“The transition to a net-zero greenhouse gas economy will require an unprecedented reduction in the embodied energy and carbon emissions associated with foundational industrial materials in every critical sector — from healthcare, to agriculture, to transportation,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, principal deputy assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the DOE. “By investing in technologies that improve our ability to re-use, recycle, and remanufacture these materials, DOE is moving America toward a circular economy and reducing carbon emission across the manufacturing sector.”
The aluminum-focused projects that were selected to receive funding are as follows:
- Enhanced Processing of Aluminum Scrap at End-of-life via Artificial Intelligence & Smart Sensing, which is being led Solvus Global, LLC along with the project partners Energy Research Company (ERCo), Eck Industries, Mercury Marine, Novelis, and Schnitzer Steel Industries, and will receive $2,044,179 in funding.
- A Technical Evaluation Framework for Recycling Technologies, which is being led by University of Michigan along with the project partners National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Plastics Industry Association (PIA), the Aluminum Association, and the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), and will receive $157,273 in funding.
- Design for Re-Solar, which is being led by University of Pittsburgh along with the project partners University of California – Irvine, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, First Solar, Alfred University, the Aluminum Association, Sunnking, Inc., and Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), and will receive $1,037,733 in funding.
- Development of Computational Tools for Predicting Seam Weld Integrity in Thick-Walled Hollow Aluminum Extrusions, which is being led by Secat, Inc. along with the project partners Lehigh University, University of Kentucky, and Taber Extrusions, LLC, and will receive $1,194,118 in funding.
- Recycling and Refining of Aluminum Foils and other Difficult Scraps, which will be led by Oculatus Consulting along with the project partners Phinix LLC, Eck Industries, and GPRL R&E LLC, which will receive $450,000 in funding.
- Course on Systems Thinking for Material Management: Benefits and Tools, which will be led by Georgia Institute of Technology along with the project partners Yale University, NREL, GreenBlue, and the Aluminum Association, and will receive $50,000 in funding.