Energy Department Celebrates Operation of Efficient Technology for Melting Aluminum
April 20, 2006
The U.S. Department of Energy participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in New Philadelphia, Ohio, to highlight Apogee Technology's revolutionary Isothermal Melting (ITM) process. The event marked an important new development phase for the DOE-cost-shared technology as it is scaled-up for use at a General Motors facility. Over 70 invited well-wishers were on hand for the festivities at the McDonald/Marlite Conference Center.
“This work is a product of a partnership that means real energy savings and increased competitiveness for American business and workers,” said Douglas Faulkner, the U.S. Department of Energy's Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “As we make better use of existing technologies to boost energy efficiency, the Department of Energy is also investing in revolutionary new energy technologies, such as those highlighted today, that will help the United States build and retain global economic leadership.”
Apogee's other partners during development of the isothermal melter include Aleris International, Drexel University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Argonne National Laboratory. Guests at the event had the opportunity to tour a commercial installation of the technology at Aleris International's Rolled Products plant in nearby Uhrichsville, Ohio.
Compared to conventional gas-fired melting, the ITM process requires one-third of the energy input and is more than twice as efficient. If all of the aluminum melting in the United States were to switch to ITM technology, the resulting annual energy savings would be 63 trillion Btu—enough energy to power the city of Pittsburgh for four years.
Supported by an $18 million cost-sharing grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the second phase of ITM research and development will optimize the performance and design of the 5,000 lb./hr. aluminum melter for commercial use and explore new strategies for in-plant molten metal management.
Apogee Technology developed the ITM process through a three-year Department of Energy cost-sharing grant awarded to Apogee by the EERE Industrial Technologies Program in 2001. The Industrial Technologies Program works with U.S. industry to improve industrial energy efficiency and environmental performance, investing in high-risk, high-value research and development to reduce industrial energy use while stimulating productivity and growth.
Visit this website for more information on the work being done by DOE"s Industrial Technology Program.