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DOE to award up to $42.3M to support manufacturing innovations, including Li-ion battery manufacturing

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $42.3-million funding opportunity (DOE-FOA-0002553) to support manufacturing innovations for high performance clean energy technologies to drive economy-wide reductions in carbon emissions, including:

  • Topic area 1: Manufacturing Process Innovation. Next-generation manufacturing processes that improve energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of energy-intensive industries.

    • Topic Area 1a: Efficiency Improvements to Drying Processes. Within this subtopic, DOE is seeking applicants that will develop novel drying systems for use in energy-intensive manufacturing applications. These novel systems can utilize a combination of pretreatments, mechanical dewatering, alternative heat and fuel sources, and/or other approaches to optimize energy performance and increase overall thermal efficiency while reducing carbon impacts. In addition to improved energy efficiency and carbon reduction, the proposed technology should deliver additional benefits such as increased throughput, improved product quality, and inherently safer and more reliable operation. All benefits should be detailed in the application and quantified, if possible. This subtopic would consider validation of promising lab-scale technologies by addressing key scale-up challenges and cost barriers.

      Candidates should target novel drying processes that reduce energy consumption by at least 20% and reduce carbon intensity (ton of carbon dioxide (CO2)e/kg product) of the process by no less than 25%.

    • Topic Area 1b: Advanced Tooling for Lightweight Automotive Components. This subtopic will accelerate the development of innovative machine tooling solutions for the production of lightweight parts for use in automotive applications to address the evolving market. The development and use of tooling is an important process step in the production of automobiles. A range of technologies, alone or combined with other processes, have the potential to deliver efficiency improvements, including: advancements in mold and die materials and their manufacture; tooling and related equipment for novel forming and shaping approaches, hybridization utilizing existing and novel approaches, or advanced configurations; and advanced sensing and control system solutions.

    • Topic Area 1c: Sustainable Chemistry Practices in Manufacturing. Research under this subtopic will advance molecules/materials or processes that can contribute to the principles of sustainable chemistry and foster decarbonization of the chemical industry

  • Topic Area 2: Advanced Materials Manufacturing. Development of novel materials that improve the energy efficiency of manufacturing processes and resulting products.

    • Topic Area 2a: Materials for Harsh Service Conditions. This subtopic focuses on new materials and new materials processing solutions to meet the demands of future manufacturing processes to provide energy savings, carbon reduction, and other benefits such as improved durability and reduced costs of materials and components operating in harsh environments, including nuclear environments.

    • Topic Area 2b: Development of Aluminum-Cerium (Al-Ce) Alloys and Processing to Enable Increased Energy Efficiency in Aerospace Applications. This subtopic is focused on developing Al-Ce alloys and processing routes for aerospace applications to facilitate market entry. Applicants should demonstrate energy savings and associated carbon reductions resulting from the project. The energy savings and carbon reductions may result from an increase in processing efficiency, lightweighting, or improved material performance.

  • Topic Area 3: Energy Systems. Improving the systems and processes for how energy is stored, converted, and used, including manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries to support electric vehicles.

    • Topic Area 3a: Structured Electrode Manufacturing for Lithium-ion Batteries. This subtopic seeks proposals to improve structured electrode manufacturing processes. Improvements can focus on process reliability, scale-up, or integration with manufacturing processes currently used in industry. Examples of processes that are of interest include relevant additive manufacturing processes such as polymer extrusion or laser powder bed fusion, solvent-free or dry film deposition, UV- or electro-beam-assisted drying/curing, and novel composite deposition technologies such as field-assisted deposition, electrospinning, electrophoretic deposition, cold plasma spraying, photochemical rapid curing, and atomic and molecular layer deposition.

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