Aerogel is a translucent, Styrofoam-like material that retains heat well.

Four energy-technology initiatives receive federal funding

June 27, 2024

The Department of Energy (DOE) has selected four new transformative technology projects to be a part of the Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential (SCALEUP) program. The projects aim to improve energy efficiency, storage and sustainability.

The SCALEUP program helps bring advanced energy technologies from prototypes to market-ready products. It focuses on turning high-risk, innovative ideas into scalable and commercial versions.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) started the program in 2021 when it announced 2019 awardees. This is the third cohort of project teams that have been awarded grants to help actualize their energy solution ideas.  

“By catalyzing the commercialization of promising technologies, we are empowering the private sector to go all in to boost American manufacturing, strengthen national security and ensure our competitive edge,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

The projects, spanning from using aerogels and thermal batteries for energy efficiency to decarbonizing cement, have all proved a path to commercialization:

  • AeroShield Materials in Waltham, Massachusetts, will develop a pilot manufacturing facility for aerogels to enhance energy efficiency in insulated glass units for buildings.
  • Antora Energy in Sunnyvale, California, will scale up production of thermal batteries to convert renewable energy into heat and power for industrial use, aiding in industrial sector decarbonization. 
  • Ion Storage Systems in Beltsville, Maryland, will support domestic manufacturing and commercialization of solid lithium-metal batteries for electric vehicles.
  • Queens Carbon in Pine Brook, New Jersey, will develop a pilot facility to produce carbon-neutral materials for decarbonized cement production.

The first two rounds of projects from SCALEUP have already seen commercial-scale production and operations. Natron Energy, an awardee from the first cohort, has started commercial-scale sodium-ion battery operations in Michigan, while LongPath Technologies, also an awardee, has developed advanced methane detection technology.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Gracie Warhurst

Gracie Warhurst has joined Strategic Partnerships, Inc. as a writer and digital content creator for the new Government Market News portal. With a rich background in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, Warhurst has experience as editor-in-chief of a literary magazine, assistant web editor, and project manager for an AI journalism project. She also contributed as a reporter during the development of SPI's news portal. Warhurst graduated summa cum laude in December 2023 with a Bachelor's in Journalism and a certificate in creative writing, making her a valuable asset to the SPI team.

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