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DOE Awards BTU-Busting Coatings $6.6M

Thursday, June 21, 2012

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Research into two novel energy-saving coating technologies are among 13 projects that will share more than $54 million in new funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The grants to Lyondell Chemical Co., Teledyne Scientific and Imaging, Air Products and Chemicals and others will support “transformational technologies and materials” designed to increase energy efficiency and save money in U.S. manufacturing, DOE said in announcing the awards Tuesday (June 19).

 Manufacturing processes consume about one-third of all energy produced in the US.

Manufacturing processes consume about one-third of all energy produced in the United States. New coatings could save those processes trillions of BTUs per year, according to DOE.

Manufacturing industrial processes consume about one-third of all energy produced in the United States, according to DOE.

‘Breakthrough Technologies’

“By investing in breakthrough technologies that can drastically reduce the amount of energy consumed during manufacturing, the Energy Department is supporting President Obama’s blueprint for an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, and skills for American workers,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

“When it comes to clean energy, our motto should be: ‘Invented in America, made in America, and sold around the world.’ The projects announced today will improve the competitive position of U.S. industry and help manufacturers produce more while saving energy, saving money and protecting our air and water.”

Easing Ethylene Production

Lyondell Chemical, of Newtown Square, PA, was awarded $4.5 million to pursue prototype development and full-scale testing of a new coating material to reduce surface deposits (unwanted byproducts) and improve the energy efficiency of ethylene production.

Ethylene is widely used in the chemical industry, and ethylene production is the industry’s largest user of energy, DOE says. Reducing energy consumption by 6% to 10% per plant could save 20-35 trillion BTUs annually.

The proposed technology can be installed during the normal maintenance cycle and, with the growing availability of shale gas, “has the potential to help the U.S. maintain its position as a world leader in olefins production,” according to Lyondell.

BASF Qtech Inc. and Quantiam Technologies Inc. will partner on the project, called “Catalyst-Assisted Production of Olefins from Natural Gas Liquids.”

Streamlining Pulp and Paper

Teledyne, based in Thousand Oaks, CA, received $2,110,000 to develop a new sacrificial protective coating material that can be regenerated in situ to enable high-performance membranes used in the pulp and paper industries.

The project will “develop, optimize and test a highly durable membrane coating for the black liquor-to-fuel concentration process” used by the industry. The coating could eliminate two of five steps now used in the process, saving the paper industry about 110 trillion BTUs per year, DOE said.

The Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance and the Georgia Institute of Technology are partnering on the project.

Other Projects

Other grants and projects include:

• $7.12 million to the American Iron and Steel Institute to develop a novel flash iron-making process;

• $9 million to Dow Chemical Co. to develop a lower-cost carbon fiber production process that could be instrumental in automotive, wind turbine and other industrial applications;

• $1.46 million to the University of Utah and Army Research Laboratory to develop a lower-cost process for producing titanium components for aircrafts and vehicles; and

• $1.2 million to Air Products and Chemicals, of Allentown, PA, which produces raw materials for coatings and other applications, to develop a process to convert effluents to energy.

A full list of project descriptions and partners may be found here.


Tagged categories: Air Products; Coatings technology; Dow Chemical Company; Energy efficiency; Sacrificial coatings

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