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DOE Awards $2Mn for Performance Computing Energy Efficiency (Funding)
DOE EERE
Date: 2019-07-29
In Washington, the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) reports it has awarded $2 million in funding for seven new high performance computing projects, as part of the High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Initiative.

The initiative is a DOE-wide effort comprising EERE, the Office of Fossil Energy (FE), the Office of Science, and the National Laboratories. The initiative helps to leverage the National Laboratories' high performance computing capabilities to address challenges in manufacturing and materials through state-of-the-art modeling, simulation, and data analysis. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) leads the HPC4EI program along with partner laboratories Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest and Sandia National Laboratories, as well as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and National Energy Technology Laboratory. Funded projects include:

  • NYC-based Ferric, Inc. will partner with LLNL to develop analytical tools that will combine traditional electromagnetic finite-element analysis with micromagnetic simulation.

  • Applied Materials in Sunnyvale, Calif. will continue to work with LLNL on Phase II of developing predictive modeling capabilities for the advanced film deposition technique, High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering.

  • Gas Technology Institute in Des Plaines, Ill., Gopher Resource, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will partner to use high performance computing to increase the productivity of secondary lead furnaces.

  • Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman Chemical will collaborate with Argonne National Laboratory on developing open-source software-based models of a gas atomizer based on ongoing work being performed at Eastman.

  • Praxair Surface Technologies Inc. in Indianapolis will work with Ames National Laboratory to enhance the efficiency of metal powder production for additive manufacturing applications.

    Within the High Performance Computing for Materials (HPC4Mtls) Program, EERE's Vehicle Technologies Office has selected two projects:

  • PPG Industries will collaborate with LLNL and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to apply classical molecular dynamics simulations and density functional tight-binding calculations.

  • AK Steel in Middletown, Ohio will collaborate with ORNL on thermo-mechanical forming process development to produce tailored strength automotive structural components. The Office of Fossil Energy selected two additional HPC4Mtls projects to support. Industry partners provide at least 20 pct of the funding for new projects. (Source:DOE EERE, PR, EIN,July, 2019) Contact: US DOE, www.energy.gov/eere/office-energy-efficiency-renewable-energy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE EERE,  Energy Efficiency,  


  • Philippines Rice Straw Biogas Facility Launched (Int'l Report)
    Supergen Bioenergy Hub
    Date: 2019-07-01
    In Laguna Province, the Phillippines, a JV between Straw Innovations Ltd, Supergen Bioenergy Hub, QUBE Renewables and the University of Southampton is reporting the launch of a rice straw-to-biogas (R2B) project. The project, which will process the region's abundance of waste rice straw into marketable biogass transportation fuel, is being funded under the Energy Catalyst programme from Innovate UK and UK Aid.

    The rice-to-biofuel (R2B) project will produce biogas for energy and fertilizer using anaerobic digestion reactors with biomethane upgrading equipment. The activities of the "village scale" pilot facility and the development of the associated business models are supported by academic lab work and analysis from the UK research partners. (Source: Supergen Bioenergy Hub, June, 2019) Contact: Supergen Bioenergy Hub, European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI), Aston University, Prof. Patricia Thornley, Dir., p.thornleyWaston.ac.uk; Straw Innovations, www.strawinnovations.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News anaerobic digestion,  bioenergy,  Biogas,  Rice Biogas,  


    Loughborough Univ. Granted £200,000 for Green Travel R&D (Int'l)
    Loughborough Univ
    Date: 2019-05-08
    Loughborough University has been awarded £200,000 in grant funding from the UK Department for Transport and Supergen Bioenergy Hub -- a group of experts focussed on developing sustainable bioenergy systems -- for two projects which aim to make the transport sector more environmentally friendly. The projects will explore biofuel production, bioenergy carbon capture, and storage and utilisation.

    One project, led by Dr Jin Xuan, a Senior Lecturer in Low Carbon Processes, will examine the role of e-biofuel in reducing emissions and increasing the sustainability of the road transport sector while enhancing renewable energy security. The research will examine the feasibility of a novel electrochemical process to produce biofuels while reusing the captured CO2.

    The project will develop a new concept of e-biofuel which combines the advantages of both e-fuel (produced from renewable electricity and CO2) and biofuel (produced from biomass) to intensively decarbonise the road transport sector. It also provides Loughborough researchers with a new link to the Supergen Bioenergy Hub and the Department of Transport.

    A second project led by Dr Tanja Radu, a Lecturer in Water Engineering, will research algae-based biomethane fuel purification and carbon sequestration. The project aims to develop and assess an innovative process for the simultaneous production of high-purity biomethane as a potential natural gas vehicle fuel, together with the sequestration of remaining biomass and biogas carbon into algal co-product and biochar.

    The Supergen Bioenergy Hub at Aston University aims to bring together industry, academia and other stakeholders to focus on the research and knowledge challenges associated with increasing the contribution of UK bioenergy to meet strategic environmental targets in a coherent, sustainable and cost-effective manner. (Source: DfT, Loughborough University, East Midlands Business Link, 8 May, 2019) Contact: Loughborough University, www.lboro.ac.uk; Supergen Bioenergy Hub, Professor Patricia Thornley, Dir., p.thornley@aston.ac.uk, www.supergen-bioenergy.net

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy news,  Biofuel news,  CCS news,  Biogas news,  


    Notable Quote Duly Noted
    Christiana Figueres
    Date: 2018-10-03
    "The influence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution impacts us all. When that incredible force is primed to catalyze exponential shifts in GHG emissions reductions all sectors of the economy, we can be stubbornly optimistic about delivering a livable planet to our children within the timeframe we have left to do so." -- Christiana Figueres, Sept., 2018

    Christiana Figueres Olsen is a Costa Rican diplomat with 35 years of experience in high level national and international policy and multilateral negotiations. She was appointed Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in July 2010, six months after the failed COP15 in Copenhagen, according to Wikipedia. Contact: Christiana Figueres, http://christianafigueres.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Christiana Figueres,  GHG Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    Biofuels Feedstock Study Supports Billion-tpy Estimate (R&D)
    North Central Regional Sun Grant Center
    Date: 2018-01-24
    Can farmers produce at least 1 billion tons of biomass per year that can be used as biofuels feedstock? That’s the question that researchers are trying to answer, according to South Dakota State University North Central Regional Sun Grant Center Director Vance Owens. The goal is to replace 30 percent of the petroleum consumed in the United States with biofuels.

    Analysis of up to seven years of production data suggests an estimated billon-tpy could be available annually by 2030.

    Field trial results and yield projections for herbaceous crops, including switchgrass, energycane, mixed perennial grasses on Conservation Reserve Program land, giant miscanthus and sorghum, as well as the woody feedstocks poplar and shrub willow, are available online in the January issue of GCB Bioenergy.

    The raw data from the field trials will be available for public use and can be accessed at Knowledge Discovery Framework at the U.S. DOE website. Among the herbaceous energy crops, field-scale trials using traditional agricultural equipment were conducted for switchgrass and mixed perennial grasses suitable for use on CRP land, while smaller individual plots were utilized for energycane and giant miscanthus due to a lack of vegetative planting materials for these species.

    South Dakota State University was the lead institution for the more than $20 million project which was funded by the U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and involved researchers from the U.S. DOE and USDA, 35 land-grant universities, Heidelberg University, INL, ORNL, ANL and several industry partners.

    Report details are HERE (Source: South Dakota State University, Jan., 2018) Contact: South Dakota State Univ. North Central Regional Sun Grant Center, Vance Owens, Dir., (605) 688-5476, www.sdstate.edu/north-central-regional-sun-grant-center

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Feedstock,  


    SimPath Touts Possible Biofuel Breakthrough (New Prod & Tech)
    SimPath,ORNL
    Date: 2017-10-25
    Knoxville, Tennessee-headquartered startup SimPath reports it has licensed a pioneering cloning system developed by the US DOE Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). NREL's system generates and assembles the biological building blocks necessary to synthetically bio-engineer fuels economically and efficiently. SimPath will develop the cloning system further to improve ORNL's method into a multi-gene DNA assembly kit that includes a software package for customers using synthetic biology techniques.

    ORNL developed the cloning system to aid studies of drought-resistant plants that rely on a water-saving form of photosynthesis, a system that has already brought about a 50 pct increase in production.

    ORNL and SimPath will continue to partner on the cloning tool, using feedback from SimPath's customers to enhance the system and fine-tune characteristics such as shelf-life, which determines the viability of live products. (Source: SimPath, ORNL, Bio-based World News, 23 Oct., 2017) Contact: SimPath, Robert Moseley, Pres., info@ simpathinnovations.com, http://simpathinnovations.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  ORNL,  


    Center for Low-Cost Biofuels, Biochemicals Funded (R&D Funding)

    Date: 2017-10-23
    Northwestern-led center receives $12 million grant from US Department of Energy Northwestern Engineering will lead a new center dedicated to accelerating the production of sustainable, low-cost bio-fuels and chemicals. Called Northwestern University is reporting the multi-institutional Clostridia Foundry for Biosystems Design is being awarded a five-year, $12 million grant from the US Department of Energy. The center's researchers from Northwestern, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and waste-gas-to-fuel clean-energy specialist LanzaTech, will focus on clostridia, a bacterium that metabolizes carbon to produce fuel.

    The center's work will identify the enzymes and computationally predict biosynthetic pathways within clostridia that are necessary to produce biofuels, develop a technology platform for accelerating testing and pinpoint which iterations produce the highest yields, then demonstrate a Biosystems design approach to engineer clostridia for improved production of next-generation biofuels and bioproducts. (Source: Northwestern University Center for Synthetic Biology, Oct., 2017) Contact: Northwestern Center for Synthetic Biology, syntheticbiology.northwestern.edu; LanzaTech, Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, (630) 439-3050, jennifer@lanzatech.com, www.lanzatech.com; ORNL Center for Bioenergy Innovation, (865) 576-8141, www.ornl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Biochemical,  LanzaTech,  ORNL,  ,  


    NEWBio Advances Sustaiable Biomass Energy (Ind. Report)
    NEWBio
    Date: 2017-09-11
    The NorthEast Woody/Warm-season Biomass Consortium (NEWBio), a Northeastern U.S. regional network of universities, businesses and government entities reports that from 2012 to the present it has been working with $10 million in USDA funding to advance sustainable bioenergy and perennial biomass crops -- specifically warm-season grasses and short-rotation willow production strategies, policies and markets -- in the Northeastern U.S.

    According to project director Tom Richard, NEWBio made tremendous progress building robust, scalable and sustainable value chains for bio-based energy, chemicals and materials across the Northeastern region.

    Among its goals, NEWBio aimed to identify options where bioenergy crops could improve environmental outcomes without competing with food production. One was floodplains and buffers along streams where these crops can improve water quality. A second goal was to utilize abandoned and marginal lands using patented high-yielding willow and various warm-season grasses.

    The NEWBio consortium includes the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Cornell University, Ohio State University, Delaware State University, Rutgers University, Drexel University, University of Vermont, SUNY-ESF, West Virginia University, Idaho National Laboratory, USDA-ARS, University of Maine and Stony Brook University. (Source: NEWBio, Penn State Univ., 8 Sept., 2017) Contact: Penn State Univ., Tom Richard, Project Director, 0291, trichard@psu.edu; NEWBio, (814) 863-0291, www.newbio.psu.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Biomass Energy,  Sustainable Biomass,  Bioenergy Crops,  Willow,  Woody Biomass,  


    Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies Funding Announced (Funding)
    DOE Building Technologies Office
    Date: 2017-08-04
    The US DOE Building Technologies Office (BTO) reports it is investing up to $15.8 million in 13 projects that will drive innovation in early-stage R&D for advanced building technologies and systems that will serve as a foundation for future technological developments and reductions in building energy consumption.

    This years Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) awards include novel materials exploration that will lead to more efficient insulation and windows, more accurate sensors, exploration and validation of both electric- and fuel-driven hybrid vapor compression technologies for more efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R), as well as advanced control algorithms, modeling, and analytics for reducing power consumption of miscellaneous electric loads.

    The HVAC&R recipients include: Stone Mountain Technologies Inc.; University of Maryland; Arkema Inc.; Xergy; United Technologies Research Center; Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); University of California, Berkeley; Fraunhofer CSE (Boston); Stanford University, and others. (Source: DOE BETO, 3 Aug., 2017) Contact: US DOE BETO, www.energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/bioenergy-technologies-office

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE Building Technologies Office,  BETO,  ,  


    ORNL Biofuels, Bioproducts R&D Receives Funding (Ind. Report)
    ORNL
    Date: 2017-07-19
    The US DOE reports it has chosen the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI) as one of four bioenergy centers to receive funding to advance a new bio-based economy with the production of fuels and other products directly from nonfood biomass. The DOE will provide a total of $40 million in initial funding for the four centers in Fiscal Year 2018, with plans for a total five years of funding.

    CBI will focus on the creation of high-yielding biofuel feedstock plants, using genetic studies to accelerate the domestication of perennial plants. CBI will create biocatalytic methods for high-yield production of advanced biofuels that can be blended with existing transportation fuels. The Center will also study ways to develop valuable byproducts from lignin left over after biomass processing.

    CBI will work with partners from the University of Georgia, NREL, Dartmouth College, GreenWood Resources, MIT, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, University of California-Riverside, University of Colorado-Boulder, Penn State and others. (Source: US DOE, ORNL, 17 July, 2017) Contact: ORNL Center for Bioenergy Innovation, Gerald Tuskan, (865) 576-8141, tuskanga@ornl.gov, www.ornl.gov; US DOE Office of Science, http://science.energy.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ORNL,  Biofuel Feedstock,  


    ORNL, UMaine Partner on Forest Biomass, Bioenergy (Ind. Report)
    ORNL,University of Maine
    Date: 2017-02-01
    The U.S. DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the agency's largest science and energy laboratory, and the University of Maine in Orono are reporting the signing of a Letter of Intent to jointly develop forest-based biomaterials for use with advanced additive manufacturing, composite materials development and manufacturing, as well as bio-refineries, bioenergy and biofuels.

    The Letter of Intent is among the first steps in implementing the recommendations offered by the federal Economic Development Assessment Team, which was created at the request of U.S. Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins in March 2016 to support the state's $8.5 billion forest products industry which has seen a $1.3 billion decline in total economic impact since 2014 due to the closure of six pulp and paper mills.

    Under the agreement, the University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center will serve as Oak Ridge's collaborative partner, "advancing additive manufacturing of forest bio-based low cost composite materials and large structures, supporting ongoing relationships with marine, military, civil infrastructure, and renewable energy clients and providing a regional center for workforce training." (Source: ORNL, University of Maine, Maine Biz, 30 Jan., 2017) Contact: University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center, (207) 581-2123, https://composites.umaine.edu; ORNL, (865) 574-5035, www.ornl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ORNL,  University of Maine,  Forest Biomass,  Bioenergy,  


    ORNL Develops Carbon Capture Crystals (New Prod & Tech)
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    Date: 2017-01-20
    At the U.S. DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers investigating methods for eliminating water contaminants are reporting the discovery of a way to capture CO2 directly from the atmosphere. Using aqueous guanidine solutions, the process offers a possible solution to capturing and storing atmospheric CO2, a greenhouse gas suspected of contributing to global warming.

    The researchers found that guanidine solutions develop crystals containing carbonate formed when air-bourne CO2 reacts with water. The research team has developed a process for vaporizing carbon crystals at temperatures between 80 and 120 degrees Celsius and piping the released gas to underground storage reservoirs.

    The researchers believe the discovery could be adapted to capture CO2 emissions directly from industrial sources. Carbon capturing crystals are not new, but prior to their formation in guanidine, it required vaporization at temperatures up to 900 degrees Celsius -- a process that ended up creating more CO2. Guanidine's much lower vaporization temperature could be accomplished via solar energy, and has ORNL scientists hopeful the process could advance carbon capture and storage (CCS) to mitigate climate change. (Source: ORNL, Construction Dive, Others, 18 Jan., 2017) Contact: ORNL, (865) 574-5035, www.ornl.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Dioxide,  CO2,  Oak Ridge National Laboratory ,  Carbon Capture,  CCS,  

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