ATAMI researchers, with collaborators at PNNL, will lead new federal energy efficiency effort

Oregon State University, with partner with Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, will co-direct the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment Institute (RAPID), the most recent of 10 advanced manufacturing institutes stood up by the 10 U.S. Department of Energy. The federal effort aims to improve efficiency in U.S. chemical industries.

RAPID will be housed at ATAMI.

Seventy million dollars will go toward the institute over five years, pending Congressional appropriation. Support from states and the private sector will drive the total investment to more than $140 million.

ATAMI member researcher and faculty researcher Brian Paul is lead principal investigator for OSU.

The emphasis of the RAPID Institute will be on chemical process intensification, which is the development of chemical manufacturing equipment that is smaller, lighter-weight and more energy efficient. The result will be lower costs, and modular production of chemical plants that will help to boost the nation’s economic growth.

Paul explains:

In the module manufacturing focus area, we’ll work to create chemical equipment that is lighter, smaller and less expensive than existing equipment,” Paul said. “This will enable distributed chemical processing, like efforts to use solar energy to augment the energy content of natural gas. This could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, using solar thermal processes that are 70 percent solar-to-chemical efficient.