DOE announces $39 million for research and development to turn buildings into carbon storage structures

WASHINGTON DC- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $39 million in grants for 18 projects to develop technologies capable of transforming buildings into net carbon storage structures. Under the direction of the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), candidates selected for the HESTIA Program (Harnessing Emissions into Structures Taking Inputs from the Atmosphere) Prioritize removing barriers associated with buildings that store carbon, including scarce, expensive and geographically limited building materials. The HESTIA program’s decarbonization goals reflect President Biden’s plan to reach zero emissions by 2050 and aim to increase the total amount of carbon stored in buildings to create carbon sinks, which absorb more carbon from the environment. atmosphere than it releases during the construction process.

“There is enormous untapped potential in reinventing building materials and construction techniques as carbon sinks that promote a cleaner atmosphere and advance President Biden’s national climate goals,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This is a unique opportunity for researchers to advance clean energy materials to tackle one of the hardest sectors to decarbonize, responsible for approximately 10% of total annual emissions in the United States. .”

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the manufacture and construction of materials, renovation and disposal of buildings at the end of their lifespan are concentrated at the beginning of the building’s lifespan. a building, making them essential to address given the urgency of meeting national energy and environmental standards. challenges. The following teams – representing universities, private companies and national laboratories – are ready to develop and demonstrate carbon-negative construction materials and entire building designs. Although this is an overview of the selected ones, please see the complete and detailed list Descriptions of HESTIA projects.

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Fairbanks, AK) will develop cost-effective bio-based insulation. The team will combine cellulose with mycelium, the root network of fungi, to create a new class of high-performance, carbon-capturing and storing foams and composites. (Amount of scholarship: $2,476,145)
  • Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) will develop transformational “living” wood with the strength of steel, self-healing ability, and the combined benefits of wood carbon sequestration and microbes. Making living wood is inherently scalable and will support sound forest management and a national bioeconomy. (Amount of scholarship: $958,245)
  • SkyNano LLC (Knoxville, TN) will develop a composite panel that contains bio-derived natural fibers that exhibit excellent mechanical and functional properties while maintaining a negative carbon footprint. The technology will allow the interior surfaces of buildings to be carbon negative. (Amount of scholarship: $2,000,000)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) will design a medium-sized carbon-negative building structure by developing a high-performance floor system with a maximized surface area for carbon absorption, using a novel carbon-absorbing concrete mix as the building material, 3D printing the pieces with a new mix of concrete and bio-based carbon storage materials. (Amount of scholarship: $2,407,390)

In addition to the HESTIA program, ARPA-E has recently announcement $5 million in funding through the HESTIA Exploratory Topic to two universities working to develop the necessary life cycle assessment tools and frameworks associated with transforming buildings into net carbon storage structures. Learn more about this funding on the HESTIA Exploratory Subject Webpage.

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