US Department of Energy Issues Lab Call for Partnerships on Nanotechnology Research
April 16, 2008
WASHINGTON, DC - After the March release of a report on nanomanufacturing, from the 2007 Nanomanufacturing for Energy Efficiency Workshop, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a research call on Nanomanufacturing for Energy Efficiency research and development, intended for the DOE national laboratories with industry participation. It has been estimated that the potential impact from technology applications in chemicals, refining, and maritime industries alone could result in 0.5-1.1 quadrillion Btu and over 60 million metric tons of CO2 per year.
Nanomanufacturing is the use of nanotechnology (matters of size between 1 to 10 nanometers), which involves the production of nanomaterials and nano-enabled products. The United States government's $8.3 billion investment in nanotechnology research over the past seven years has yielded such impressive scientific discoveries. However, to realize the economic and social benefits of nanotechnology, these scientific discoveries must be translated into commercial processes and products.
The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will initiate a Nanomanufacturing for Energy Efficiency program in Fiscal Year 2008. Research in nanomanufacturing is vitally important in closing the gaps between nanoscience dscoveries and nanotechnology products; it offers the promise of breakthroughs that will use energy more efficiently (e.g. much lighter and stronger materials for use in cars, high performance nanocatalysts for producing clean fuels and chemicals), and convert, store, and deliver energy more effectively. These new technologies will transform the fundamental understanding of nanoscale materials into useful structures, devices, and systems that can contribute to the DOE energy security and affordability goals.
“EERE has a track record of success through numerous public-private collaborations to bring technology to the marketplace,” said Douglas Kaempf, EERE's Industrial Program Manager. “With the help of our industry stakeholders, we are very pleased with the Nanomanufacturing for Energy Efficiency Workshop report that would provide the basis for our program priorities. We plan to pursue targeted research in key energy technology areas with high potential for ‘game-changing' applications as identified in the report. Our initial strategy is to work with our national laboratory system and leverage their intellectual knowledge with the industry's resources to bring a number of nanotechnologies to the market in a relatively short time,”
The nanotechnology lab call activity will drive improvements in the reliability in nanomaterials production and scale up of manufacturing processes for utilizing nanomaterials in a number of energy-related products. Together with its partners, DOE's Industrial Technologies Program develops real world solutions to the top energy challenges facing the nation and seeks to achieve a 25 percent reduction over 10 years in U.S. industrial energy intensity.