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DOE awards $125M to bring clean energy technologies to market

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding a total of $125 million to support 110 clean energy technology projects (DE-FOA-0002381). Within that total, DOE’s Office of Energy and Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will award $57.6 million to 53 projects by 51 small businesses and entrepreneurs with phase II funding based on the initial success of their phase I awards, including follow-on awards to support projects closer to market.

Other DOE funding programs included in the $125-million total are Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (US$8 million); Electricity (US$2.2 million); Fossil Energy (US$14.7 million); Fusion Energy Sciences (US$10 million); High Energy Physics (US$17.9 million); and Nuclear Energy ($13.4 million).

Through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, the phase II awards support the research and development of innovative clean energy technologies toward commercialization. EERE phase II awards are awarded for a two-year project duration, with initial funding up to $1.1 million, and two potential follow-on awards of up to $1.1 million each.

Among the 53 EERE project selections are:

  • Giner, Inc. Low Total Cost of Hydrogen by Exploiting Offshore Wind and PEM Electrolysis Synergies. This project will directly couple and evaluate the use of an electrolyzer stack with an offshore wind turbine for hydrogen production. The technology has the potential to enable increased green hydrogen production from renewable offshore wind energy, reducing global carbon dioxide emissions.

  • Automat Solutions, Inc. A High Energy Density Vehicle Battery with Drop-In Lithium Anode Enabled by a Stable Liquid Electrolyte. This project will develop additives to improve the stability of liquid electrolytes for lithium metal batteries. Enabling high energy density lithium metal batteries improves the range and cost of batteries and could facilitate widespread adoption of electric vehicles, key to EERE’s goal of decarbonizing the transportation sector.

  • Pioneer Astronautics. Rare Earth Element Extraction and Recycling (REEER).The large majority of rare earth metals used in the United States are imported from China. The Rare Earth Element Extraction and Recycling process employs green chemistry that will enable domestic, cost-effective rare earth recycling to significantly reduce strategic risks and price fluctuations associated with the import of these commodities.

  • Bettergy Corp. Novel Membrane System For Lithium Recovery From Oilfield Brines. Successful completion of the current program will make a significant contribution toward development of a practical and cost-effective technology for the reuse of brine wastewater from oilfields or geothermal sites, extracting valuable lithium while at the same time desalinating the brine, bringing significant economic and environmental benefits to the United States.

  • Terves, Inc. High Ductility Magnesium Alloy Extrusions. The United States is currently lacking a consistent, state side magnesium alloy supply chain, critical to the energy infrastructure and light weighting strategy of the Department of Energy. This Phase II program will scale up a novel magnesium extrusion alloy, qualifying an additional vendor for automotive and aerospace applications.

  • NexTech Materials, Ltd. dba Nexceris, LLC. Conversion of Biogas to Liquid Fuels on Superior Catalysts. New CO2 reduction processes are required to efficiently convert biogas, biomass and stored CO2 to usable fuels. The Nexceris/WSU/Tonkomo team is developing a system to convert bio-methane and carbon dioxide into diesel fuel, jet fuel, and Fischer-Tropsch wax a valuable feedstock for chemicals, lubricants, and fuels production.

  • NexTech Materials, Ltd. dba Nexceris, LLC. Tailored Cathode Chemistry for Next-Generation Lithium-ion Batteries. This project aims to advance the commercial adoption of electric vehicles by improving battery performance. A new coating strategy will be developed to accelerate new batteries to increase electric vehicle adoption.

  • AV-Connect Inc. Real-time Contextual Predictions to Increase Energy Performance and Adoption of Connected Electrified Vehicles. Obstacles to the mass adoption of electric vehicles are range anxiety, charging time, inadequate charging infrastructure. The company will apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) to vehicle sensor telemetry contextualized with other data to provide high-precision predictions of vehicle charge consumption and intelligent charge management to alleviate consumer concerns for EV adoption.


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