This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

September 27, 2006

Industrial Technology Projects Win Eight R&D 100 Awards

A photo of an industrial setting features a conveyor belt on the right side carrying aluminum scrap to a large boxy metal device.

Apogee Technologies' Isothermal Melting device, in the lower center of this photo, saves energy by using electrical resistance heaters to melt aluminum scraps.
Credit: Apogee Technologies

Among the winners of this year's R&D 100 Awards, announced on September 22nd, are eight projects aimed at increasing efficiency in the manufacturing industries, all of which were funded by DOE's Industrial Technologies Program. For the aluminum industry, Apogee Technologies teamed up with Aleris Rolled Products to create the Isothermal Melting Process, which consumes less than one-third the energy of conventional aluminum melters. For the paper industry, DOE's Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) helped developed a paper dryer that increases drying efficiency by more than 50 percent, while researchers from DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) helped develop the Laser Ultrasonic Sensor, which allows the online measurement of the mechanical properties of paper as it rolls through the production line.

Along the same lines, OG Technologies, Inc. won for its online system to detect defects in steel rods or bars. ANL also helped developed metal alloys resistant to "metal dusting," a form of corrosion that afflicts industries producing hydrogen, methanol, ammonia, and synthesis gas. DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) also contributed with new high-temperature alloys for industrial applications and nanotech coatings for metalworking tools. In addition, Stolar Research Corporation won for system that relays real-time drilling data from a drill bit to the surface, which could be used to guide mining operations. See the Apogee Technologies press release and Web page; the press releases from ANL, LBNL, OG Technologies, and ORNL; and the Stolar Research Web site.