Is it easy being green?

Read the full story at Recycling Today.

Steelmakers in the United States attain emissions levels below the global average, and scrap is a key factor.

US laboratory claims aluminum recycling innovation

Read the full story at Recycling Today.

The Department of Energy (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, says it has worked with Canada-based automotive components maker Magna International on a new manufacturing process through which aluminum scrap can be collected and “transformed directly into new vehicle parts using an innovative process being developed by the automotive industry, in particular for electric vehicles [EVs].”

The patented Shear Assisted Processing and Extrusion (ShAPE) process collects factory-generated scrap trimmings from automotive and supplier plants and transforms it directly into suitable material for new vehicle parts, the DOE says. The technology now is being scaled to make lightweight aluminum parts for EVs.

‘Green steel’ would curb carbon emissions, spur economic revival in southwest Pennsylvania, study says

Read the full story at Inside Climate News.

Pennsylvania’s steel industry has the potential to lead a national transition to reduce or even eliminate carbon emissions if it switched to making so-called green steel, according to a report issued Monday by the Ohio River Valley Institute, a nonprofit research group.

Going low carb

Read the full story at Recycling Today.

The aluminum industry is one of many sectors working to decarbonize. While the industry has a number of means by which to reduce its carbon intensity, increased scrap consumption will play an important role, which should benefit scrap demand in the long term.

Apple commits to 100% recycled cobalt in batteries by 2025

Read the full story at Supply Chain Dive.

The push comes as the company is taking steps to create more responsible mineral supply chains.

Critical metal needs rise while cars, trucks decarbonize

Read the full story from Cornell University.

As automobile electrification speeds up, the world faces an overwhelming need for critical metals and minerals to make atmosphere-saving electric vehicles possible.

The demand for battery-grade lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese and platinum will climb steeply as nations work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through mid-century, but will likely set off economic snags and supply-chain hitches, according to new Cornell research published April 11 in Nature Communications.

“Electrification and decarbonizing fuel production are critical for adequately mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from road transportation,” said Fengqi You, the Roxanne E. and Michael J. Zak Professor in Energy Systems Engineering, the senior author on “Trade-off Between Critical Metal Requirement and Transportation Decarbonization in Automotive Electrification.”

Department of Energy issues Notice of Intent to Fund Applied Research and Development Projects to Drive Industrial Decarbonization

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy recently announced its intent to issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) that will advance high impact applied research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the U.S. industrial sector. The FOA, led by EERE’s Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO), will drive innovation to develop the next-generation technologies required to decarbonize industry and move the U.S. towards a clean energy economy for all Americans. 

Decarbonizing the industrial sector is critical to achieving the nation’s climate goals. In 2020, the industrial sector accounted for 33% of the nation’s primary energy use and 30% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. However, the industrial sector is considered one of the most difficult to decarbonize due to the diversity and complexity of energy inputs, processes, and operations. Achieving net-zero emissions across the U.S. economy by 2050 will require an aggressive, multidimensional approach to eliminating industrial emissions.  

This upcoming funding opportunity is part of an integrated, industrial decarbonization technology development strategy for DOE’s basic and applied research offices. Rooted in the principles identified in the 2022 Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap, DOE is building an innovation pipeline to accelerate the development and adoption of industrial decarbonization technologies with investments spanning foundational science; research, development, and demonstrations (RD&D); and technical assistance and workforce development. This FOA will also advance the goal of the Industrial Heat Shot™, which aims to develop cost-competitive industrial heat decarbonization technologies with at least 85% lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.  

Following on from the Roadmap and the funding opportunity released last September, the FOA will focus on cross-sector approaches to industrial decarbonization and is expected to include the following topics: 

Topic 1: Decarbonizing Industrial Heat — In support of DOE’s Industrial Heat Shot™ this topic will focus on developing equipment to decarbonize thermal processes across the industrial sector, with potential areas of interest including: electrification of industrial heat; innovative low- and no-heat processes, and industrial heat pumps. 

Topic 2: Low-Carbon Fuels Utilization RD&D —This topic will focus on innovations to develop equipment capable of utilizing low-carbon fuels, like hydrogen and hydrogen blends, with potential areas of interest including: mitigating hydrogen combustion impacts on material and product quality; developing hydrogen-based combustion systems; and low-carbon input, flexible combined heat and power (CHP). 

Topic 3: Exploratory Cross-Sector R&D will include emerging R&D areas for technologies and materials that enable industrial decarbonization. 

  • Subtopic 3a: Enabling Flexible Industrial Energy Use — This subtopic will focus on emerging transformational technologies that maintain manufacturing resilience and economic competitiveness while integrating renewable energy into industrial manufacturing processes. Potential areas of interest include industrial load flexibility and thermal energy storage systems. 
  • Subtopic 3b: Enhanced Thermal Conductivity Materials —This subtopic, funded by the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO), will focus on enhanced thermal conductivity materials to improve the performance and efficiency of electrified thermal processing equipment. 

Topic 4: Decarbonizing Chemicals — This topic will focus on decarbonization technologies for high-volume chemicals with significant CO2 emissions, including advanced separations processes, advanced reactor systems, and dynamic catalyst science.  

Topic 5: Decarbonizing Iron and Steel —This topic will focus on decarbonization opportunities in iron and steel production, with potential areas of interest including: innovative manufacturing technologies to enable decarbonization; electrification of existing manufacturing processes; overcoming challenges associated with utilizing hydrogen in steelmaking; and addressing scrap contaminants in recycling. 

Topic 6: Decarbonizing Food and Beverage Products — This topic will focus on low- and zero-carbon solutions for process heating, cooling, and refrigeration in a wide variety of energy-intensive food and beverage operations. 

Topic 7: Decarbonizing Cement and Concrete — This topic will focus on addressing cement’s direct process emissions, with potential areas of interest including: sustainably sourced supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) for clinker substitutions and blended cements; novel decarbonized production processes for Portland cement or lime; novel, low-carbon non-ordinary Portland cement formulations; and CO2 mineralization. 

Topic 8: Decarbonizing Forest Products — This topic will focus on decarbonization opportunities in energy-intensive drying, paper forming, and pulping processes. 

View the full notice of intent.

EERE plans to issue the FOA via EERE Exchange in March 2023. The funding opportunity is expected to include approximately $156 million in federal funding. EERE envisions awarding multiple financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements. The estimated period of performance for each award will be approximately three years. 

A new technique for cleaner steel

Read the full story at Grist.

Researchers in the United Kingdom and China have discovered a new way to make steel that they say could cut the material’s greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 90 percent — a tantalizing prospect for an industry that produces up to 9 percent of the planet’s climate pollution…

The new paper, published last month in the Journal of Cleaner Production, proposes a steel production system that it says could replace some 90 percent of the coke used in today’s most common steelmaking process. The system would use a material called perovskite to break down carbon dioxide produced during steelmaking into oxygen and carbon monoxide — both of which would be fed back into the process in a “nearly perfect closed carbon loop.” The reactions would take place at around 700 to 800 degrees Celsius (roughly 1,300 to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit), temperatures that could be reached using renewable energy.

A copper mine could advance green energy but scar sacred land

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Tribal groups are fighting an Arizona project whose backers say increasing the supply of copper, crucial to batteries, would reduce fossil-fuel use.

Reducing steel corrosion vital to combating climate change

Read the full story from Ohio State University.

Every year, the United States spends nearly a trillion dollars fighting metallic corrosion, an electrochemical reaction that occurs when metals oxidize and begin to rust. By taking on this surprisingly insidious issue, researchers have now estimated how much corrosion is gradually worsening global carbon emissions.