American Manufacturing is Meeting the Moment!

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The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Technologies Office logoDivider

September 29, 2023

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Welcome to the Manufacturing Moment, a monthly dose of advanced manufacturing updates hot off the factory floor. This month’s newsletter will take approximately 11 minutes to read.

A Note from AMMTO’s Director:

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It’s been a wonderful whirlwind since I began as the Director of the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Offices just over two months ago. In that short time, I’ve been blown away by the dedication of our team and impressed by the work being done to advance research, development, & demonstration (RD&D) projects that remain crucial to reaching our nation’s clean energy goals.

During the past few weeks, AMMTO has been in full-on “deployment mode,” allocating over $168 million in funding to over 58 projects and consortia renewals. (More on these recent announcements below!)

What thrills me the most is how AMMTO’s mission is interwoven with the work being done by other program offices within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and across the entire DOE, and how shared mission empowers us to drive change across all sectors of the clean energy transition. Whether it’s related to buildings, industry, transportation, or renewable energy—AMMTO is continuing to make its mark and meet the moment, and we’re doing it in a way that is environmentally responsible and equitable for all Americans. If you are interested in being part of this critical mission to shape our Nation's energy future, I encourage you to explore joining our diverse and talented team.

I’m grateful for the warm welcome, inspired by the dedication of the AMMTO team, and excited to continue all the important work we’re doing for American manufacturing!

I hope you’ll read on to learn more about the incredible solutions we’re pursuing.

See you back here next month,
Chris Saldaña

Reach out to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office at with any manufacturing musings.

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Upcoming Events

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Announcements & News

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Department of Energy Launches Critical Materials Collaborative to Harness and Unify Critical Materials Research Across America’s Innovation Ecosystem
Exciting news announced last week: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a first-of-its-kind Critical Materials Collaborative (CMC). The vision of the CMC is to integrate critical materials applied research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) across DOE and the federal government, to accelerate the realization of domestic critical material supply chains for the nation. The CMC will operationalize coordination and collaboration, while creating a value-add for RD&D performers by expanding their access to world-class expertise, capabilities, and facilities. The CMC includes partners in offices across the DOE and AMMTO Senior Technology Manager Dr. Helena Khazdozian will co-chair the CMC with Dr. Grant Bromhal of the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management’s (FECM) Mineral Sustainability Division. The CMC convenes DOE investments across the entire innovation pipeline, from AMMTO’s recently renewed Critical Materials Innovation (CMI) Hub, to AMMTO’s new Critical Materials Accelerator Program, to the Fossil Energy and Carbon Management’s (FECM) Critical Materials FOA announced earlier this month. These investments represent the first of many DOE programs to be coordinated through the CMC.

Relatedly, AMMTO Announces Notice of Intent to Fund Critical Materials Accelerator Program
AMMTO intends to issue up to $10 million in funding to establish a Critical Materials Accelerator research and development funding opportunity (FOA). Projects funded under this FOA will prototype and mature technologies or processes to address critical material challenges in high impact areas. The Critical Materials Accelerator Program will be one of several pathways developed through the Critical Materials Collaborative (CMC) to de-risk innovation and mature technology development in partnership with industry. This FOA will be released later this fall, so stay tuned. In the meantime, view the full Notice of Intent.

Assessing Critical Materials for a Sustainable Clean Energy Future
Earlier this summer, DOE released its 2023 Critical Materials Assessment, our fourth Critical Materials strategy report, which includes DOE’s first ever Critical Materials List, identifying and evaluating critical materials within the global supply chain of clean energy technologies. By focusing on key materials with high risk of supply disruption that are integral to clean energy technologies, the results of this assessment will inform eligibility for federal clean energy tax provisions and guide the priorities of the Critical Materials Research, Development, Demonstration, and Commercialization Application Programs (RDD&CA). This proactive evaluation underscores the commitment to ensuring the sustainability of clean energy technologies, thus paving the way for a green future. The report was led by AMMTO Deputy Director Dr. Diana Bauer and encompassed a team of authors across AMMTO, Idaho National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory.

Department of Energy and MSRDC Partner to Expand Access to Expertise at Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institutes
The U.S. Department of Energy, in partnership with the MSI STEM Research & Development Consortium (MSRDC), announced a new request for proposals to connect underrepresented groups from Minority Serving Institutions to the expertise, network, and resources at DOE’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institutes. This request focused on areas like power electronics with PowerAmerica, carbon fiber composites with IACMI, smart manufacturing with CESMII, circular economy with REMADE, and cybersecurity in manufacturing with CyManII with the goal of diversifying leadership in STEM fields and strengthening the U.S. manufacturing sector.

DOE Prize to Support Clean Energy Innovation in Underserved Communities
Discover opportunities for clean energy manufacturing in underserved areas via the AMMTO Manufacturing Ecosystem Track of the Community Energy Innovation Prize. Successful competitors in this track will bring together public, private, and community stakeholders to address key barriers to advancing manufacturing innovation, business models, and market development. These projects may include manufacturing-related education and workforce development, entrepreneurship, resilient supply chains, circular economy development, or other goals related to clean energy manufacturing. Teams can compete for a $2.2 million prize pool. Attend the informative webinar on Oct 12, 2023, to learn more and get application tips.

Funding Selections Announced:

$45 Million to 14 Manufacturing Projects Across 10 States to Innovate Wind and Water Energy Technologies
AMMTO awarded a combined $30 million for 13 projects committed to advancing innovative practices that will reshape the design, materials, and sustainability of manufacturing for wind turbine equipment. Another $15 million has been awarded to one project to develop, build, and refine manufacturing practices of large-scale machinery to manufacture hydropower technology using near net shape manufacturing processes.

These selected projects will support DOE’s priorities in advancing clean energy applications and energy savings through materials and manufacturing research and development and further support the Biden-Harris Administration’s climate goals to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 and achieve a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

$61 Million to Fund 31 Applied Research, Development and Demonstration Projects to Advance Clean Manufacturing
Projects were selected across AMMTO’s three programmatic pillars: Next Generation Materials and Manufacturing, Secure and Sustainable Materials, and Energy Technology Manufacturing and Workforce. These 31 selectees will drive innovation to advance the next-generation materials and manufacturing and related energy technologies required to strengthen America’s economic competitiveness and move the U.S. towards a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

Recent Renewals:

Critical Materials Innovation Hub Renewal
DOE announced renewed funding for the Critical Materials Institute (CMI), an Energy Innovation Hub. With a potential $30 million per year over five years for this third phase of the Hub, CMI will further its mission to accelerate innovative scientific and technological solutions to develop resilient and secure supply chains for materials critical to the manufacturing of clean energy technologies.

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CESMII Institute Renewal
DOE announced renewed funding for the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII), DOE’s institute expressly dedicated to smart manufacturing (SM) innovation. The initiative, with an initial $6 million allocation, aims to boost the adoption of SM for clean energy manufacturing and promote America's shift to a net-zero carbon economy.

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PowerAmerica Institute Renewal
DOE announced renewed funding for PowerAmerica, DOE’s first Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute. PowerAmerica will receive an initial $8 million, with potential funding across four more fiscal years to follow, to continue advancing domestic manufacturing of next-generation WBG semiconductors for power electronics to aid economy-wide decarbonization and electrification. 

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Lab Call Corner:

$2 Million to Enhance Domestic Advancements in Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling and Remanufacturing
DOE has announced $2 million in funding for eight projects that will drive innovation for recycling and remanufacturing technologies pertaining to Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Administered through the ReCell Center at Argonne National Laboratory, this initiative supports the development of Cooperative Research and Development Agreements for research, development, and demonstration projects. Specifically, these eight projects focus on recycling and reusing materials from the anticipated surplus of Li-ion batteries in the United States. AMMTO recognizes the imperative to address the escalating demand for these power sources. Furthermore, the advancement of LIB remanufacturing technologies is crucial in ensuring America's energy independence.

$16 Million to Boost Domestic Capabilities in Solid-State and Flow Battery Manufacturing
AMMTO recently announced the selection of five projects, each representing a collaborative effort between DOE National Laboratories and industry partners to expedite the transition from innovation to battery manufacturing scale-up and commercialization. Solid-state lithium batteries (SSBs) offer an energy-dense and safer substitute to the traditional lithium-ion batteries prevalent in electric vehicles (EV) and various portable devices, whereas flow batteries cater efficiently to the changing grid and onsite electricity requirements, enhancing adaptability for fluctuating renewable power sources.

EERE is hiring

Energize your Career with AMMTO!

If you are passionate about improving energy and material efficiency, and American manufacturing competitiveness, consider applying to join us.

We are currently hiring for the following positions:

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Department of Energy Releases Supply Chain Progress Report

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In August, DOE published a comprehensive overview of the advances made by the Department to establish and safeguard supply chains that support the American clean energy industries, which is essential for achieving the country’s economic and net-zero goals. The report is a follow up to “America’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy Transition,” released in February of 2022, which detailed how the U.S. Government can utilize several policy instruments to capitalize on opportunities presented by the clean energy transition.

IACMI Advances DOE Priorities: Members Meeting Highlights and Institute Renewal

Huijuan Dai speaking a the IACMI meeting

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) held its 2023 Summer Members Meeting, gathering 300+ composites industry leaders and specialists. With a keynote speech given by Dr. Huijuan Dai, AMMTO’s Program Manager of Next-Generation Materials and Processes, DOE has expressed a strong interest in developing the next generation of the United States’ manufacturing workforce. This past April, DOE renewed its commitment to IACMI, guaranteeing federal funding over the next five fiscal years, with a first-year investment of $6 million to further technological R&D and accelerate commercialization in the domestic composites manufacturing sector.

Tereform Co-Founders Win H&M Global Change Award: Innovations in Textile Recycling

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Tereform, a groundbreaking technology company co-founded by Mikhail Konev and NREL researcher Kevin Sullivan, was recognized by the H&M Foundation as a Global Challenge Award Winner. Tereform's innovative approach repurposes textile waste, such as discarded carpet and clothing, into fundamental building blocks for recycling, reducing landfill waste. As part of the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program, Tereform's innovation aligns with AMMTO's goals of advancing sustainable materials and manufacturing technologies. This award reinforces the potential of such innovations to transform industries, with Tereform's technology poised to bring significant change to the fashion industry.

A Leap Forward in Lithium Harvesting: DOE Grant Catalyzes Success for Mineral Selective Technology In 2021, Mineral Selective Technology, a Livermore, CA-based tech firm, was awarded $400,000 in DOE funding to facilitate significant advancements in lithium sorting materials, optimizing their application in lithium extraction from geothermal waters and oil field brine. Partnerships with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles have yielded a patent application and two forthcoming peer-reviewed manuscripts. The research outcomes, now available for licensing, have piqued the interest of commercial entities. This successful venture promises to foster a robust domestic lithium supply, reinforcing Mineral Selective Technology's gratitude for the DOE and its partners.

Greening Aluminum: Audubon Metals to Advance Ohio State's Recycled Alloy Technology Funded research at Ohio State has resulted in the creation of an environmentally friendly, cost-effective aluminum alloy technology. In a recent agreement, Audubon Metals has committed to commercialize this innovative solution which neutralizes iron contamination in secondary (recycled) aluminum, bringing it up to the quality of primary, mined aluminum used in die casting, at half the cost and with significantly reduced energy needs. This green alloy is poised to revolutionize the manufacturing industry and significantly benefit our environment, as it transitions to the marketplace under the stewardship of Audubon Metals. Read more about this innovation.

Constructing a Circular Economy for Rare-Earth Elements: Insights from CMI Research In the July edition of Nature magazine, authors Yong Geng, Joseph Sarkis, and Raimund Bleischwitz discuss the creation of a circular economy for rare-earth elements (REEs) - the crucial elements for clean-energy technologies. Citing research from Critical Materials Institute (CMI) affiliates at Purdue University and Idaho National Laboratory, Geng, Sarkis, and Bleischwitz outline the urgent necessity to enhance REE recycling, globally standardize product labeling, and revise existing legislation, while also emphasizes the need for significant investments in technologies for REE tracking, separation, and recovery.

We’ll be back next month with more manufacturing moments. Until then, you can forward this newsletter to a friend and don’t forget to tell them to subscribe here!