US Department of Energy to help finance decarbonization of iron and steel, other industries

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) plans to help finance the advancement of a range of decarbonization technologies that can shrink the carbon footprint of key industries including iron and steel, it said on Thursday June 30

The two-to-three-year funding opportunities will be announced in August and are part of the DOE’s efforts to decarbonize the US industrial sector and move the country toward net-zero carbon emissions.

Other industries in the initiative include paper and forest products, chemicals, cement and concrete, food and beverages, along with cross-sector decarbonization technologies, the DOE said.

The industrial sector currently accounts for one-third of the United States’ energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Decarbonizing industry, therefore, presents a challenge, given the wide range of energy inputs and complexity of industrial processes, the DOE noted.

Decarbonization will require the United States to pursue multiple strategies in parallel. DOE has identified four key pathways to industrial decarbonization: energy efficiency; industrial electrification; low-carbon fuels, feedstocks, and energy sources; and carbon capture, utilization and storage.

According to the DOE, its strategy for iron and steel will focus on advancements that enable decarbonization in ore-based or scrap-based iron and steelmaking operations, and that convert other existing iron and steelmaking ancillary and thermal processes to use clean fuels or electricity.

In paper and forest products, the focus will be on novel paper and wood drying technologies, and innovative pulping and paper forming technologies, the DOE noted.

Finance in the decarbonization technologies space will focus on innovations in low-temperature waste heat to power, thermal energy storage, and industrial heat pump technologies.

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