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DOE selects AIChE to lead 10th Manufacturing USA Institute

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) to lead the 10th Manufacturing USA Institute to be stood up during the Obama Administration. Leveraging up to $70 million in federal funding, subject to appropriations, and an additional $70 million in private cost-share commitments from over 130 partners, the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Institute will focus on developing breakthrough technologies to boost domestic energy productivity and energy efficiency by 20% in five years through manufacturing processes in industries such oil and gas, pulp and paper and various domestic chemical manufacturers.

Traditional chemical manufacturing relies on large-scale, energy-intensive processing. The new Institute will leverage approaches to modular chemical process intensification—such as combining multiple, complex processes such as mixing, reaction, and separation into single steps—with the goal of improving energy productivity and efficiency, cutting operating costs, and reducing waste. In the chemical industry alone, these technologies have the potential to save more than $9 billion in process costs annually.

The RAPID Institute will serve as a US manufacturing leader convening companies, universities, industrial research organizations and national laboratories to focus on new technologies that maximize processes at the molecular level to save energy with every chemical reaction—adding up to big savings on the manufacturing floor. It is the fourth Energy Department-led institute in the multiagency network known as Manufacturing USA (also known as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation).

Collectively, the federal government’s commitment of more than $700 million to the ten awarded Manufacturing USA Institutes has been matched by more than $1.4 billion in non-federal investment from across industry, academia, and state governments. The institutes, each led by manufacturing experts renowned in their field, have attracted over 1,300 companies, universities, and non-profits as members of Manufacturing USA.

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