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US Energy Department invests in clean energy

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

In support of National Small Business Week, the US Energy Department has announced 61 new projects led by small businesses in 25 states to develop clean energy technologies with a strong potential for commercialisation and job creation. These award selections are for US$150 000 each, totalling more than US$9 million, and will help small businesses with promising ideas that could improve manufacturing processes, boost the efficiency of buildings, increase transportation sustainability, and generate electricity from renewable sources.

Companies competing for these grants were encouraged to propose innovations to meet ambitious cost and performance targets. The small businesses receiving the awards are located in the following 25 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Among the 61 projects selected for awards are:

  • From Menomonee Falls, WI, E-Motors Consulting, a team including two Wisconsin start ups and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will develop an innovative technology to harvest the vast hydropower resources available in small rivers and manmade channels. Their proposed solution integrates an electric generator with a turbine and water conduit made from state of the art 3D printed components.
  • From Rockledge, FL, Mainstream Engineering Corporation will develop macromolecular catalysts that function like clam shells and react selectively with a wide variety of hydrocarbon compounds. High selectivity in chemical reactions is the key to reducing costs, energy consumption and emissions in manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, chemicals used in agriculture, and personal care products.
  • From Wallingford, CT, Proton Energy Systems will research catalysts for ammonia production that could dramatically increase efficiency, lower emissions and revolutionise agricultural chemicals and other chemicals production. This process for electrochemical ammonia synthesis is a promising alternative to the conventional process.
  • From San Diego, CA, General Engineering and Research, LLC, will investigate a low cost material for magnetic refrigeration systems to enable a highly efficient and economical solution to support liquid hydrogen production.

In addition to the projects above, at the nexus of water and energy, the Department also selected eight innovative water desalination projects from California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia that will pursue a range of cost effective solutions to meet our growing need for more secure sources of water and power.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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