American Institute of Chemical Engineers to lead Manufacturing USA institute

Published on December 13, 2016 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers will lead the new Manufacturing USA Institute, a key step in the Obama administration’s efforts to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030, the U.S. Department of Energy recently announced.

The federal government has commitment more than $700 million to 10 awarded Manufacturing USA Institutes, which has been matched by more than $1.4 billion in non-federal investment from industries, academia and state governments. Each institute is led by a variety of manufacturing experts.

The new institute in the network, the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Institute, will leverage up to $70 million in federal funds as well as an additional $70 million in private cost-share commitments amongst 130 partners.

The RAPID Institute will focus on developing breakthrough technologies aimed to boost domestic energy productivity. Increasing energy efficiency by 20 percent over a five-year period through manufacturing processes in the pulp and paper, oil and gas and other domestic chemical manufacturers is a key target of the RAPID Institute.

“Our investment in this cross-cutting technology is an investment in the future of U.S. manufacturing,” said David Friedman, acting assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

“As we expand the Manufacturing USA network, we provide greater opportunities for businesses of all sizes to solve their toughest technology challenges and unleash major savings in energy-intensive sectors like oil and gas, pulp and paper-making and other industries,” he said.

The new institute will utilize various approaches to modular chemical process intensification in order to improve energy productivity and efficiency. Approaches like combining multiple, complex processes such as reaction, mixing and separation into single steps, have the potential to cut operating costs while reducing waste. In the chemical industry alone, these technologies could boost over $9 billion in annual process cost savings.