The US Department of Energy (DOE) seems to think so and has given the three-year funding to be shared by eight lucky projects:
- Energy Reduction and Advanced Water Removal via Membrane Solvent Extraction Technology for $5.6m by 3M company.
- Thermochemical Recuperation for High Temperature Furnaces for $4.6m by American Iron and Steel Institute.
- Paired Straight Hearth (PSH) furnace for $1.51m also by American Iron and Steel Institute. PSH furnace is said to be an alternative to the energy and carbon-intensive blast furnace commonly used to make steel.
- Induction Consolidation/Molding of Thermoplastic Composites using Smart Susceptors for $4.1m by Boeing Company.
- Prototyping Energy Efficient Thermo-magnetic and Induction Hardening for Heat Treat and Net-Shape Forming applications for $4.3m by Eaton Corporation.
- Electrohydraulic Forming of Near-Net Shape Automotive Panels for $3.7m by Ford Motor Company.
- Inorganic Membranes for Refinery Gas Separations for $897,265 by Media and Process Technologies, Inc.
- Ultra-Efficient and Power Dense Electric Motors for $1.9m by Reliance Electric Company.
I’m just glad that our tax dollars are going to good purposes although I heard a rumor that the DOE’s funding process is so convoluted and lagging that one company noted that it is sometimes better to find other fundings elsewhere to get research going.