DOE ARPA-E funding breakthrough energy technology
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 66 cutting-edge research projects as part of its Advanced Research Projects Agency -- Energy (ARPA-E). The projects will a cumulative total of $130 million in funding for transformational, breakthrough technologies that show fundamental technical promise but are too early for private-sector investment.
According to the DOE, these projects have the potential to produce game-changing breakthroughs in energy technology, form the foundation for entirely new industries, and have large commercial impacts. The selected projects encompass 11 technology areas in 24 states, and support the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above approach to solving our nation's most pressing energy challenges.
"The 66 projects selected today represent the true mission of ARPA-E: swinging for the fences and trying to hit home runs to support development of the most innovative technologies and change what's possible for America's energy future," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu, when he announced the funding.
For example, the University of North Dakota which will receive $472,586 to develop a novel dry cooling technology for power plants. The air-cooled device for power plants will help improve water and power efficiency during electricity production with low environmental impact. The device uses an air-cooled adsorbent liquid that retains and releases moisture that could result in efficient power production with minimal water loss.
In another instance, the University of Minnesota has been awarded a $1.8 million grant over three years to develop revolutionary membrane technology that will enable energy-efficient separations in the chemical, petrochemical, water, fossil fuel, and renewable energy industries. When fully implemented, the technology could reduce U.S. energy consumption by up to 3 percent. As high as 6 percent of total U.S. energy consumption is currently attributed to this process.
"We have the science, but this grant will allow us to scale up the research and move it closer to market," said lead researcher Michael Tsapatsis, a professor of chemical engineering and materials science in the University's College of Science and Engineering. "Our next step is to bring these revolutionary membrane materials to commercial reality by developing a low-cost manufacturing approach that can be scaled-up efficiently."