Research Frontiers Forum 2023: Game Changers: Green Force

Research Frontiers Forum 2023: Game Changers: Green Force

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It's my pleasure to invite you to the last panel before the demo. So you're doing a great job making it through through the day where the Green Force panel. My name is Ben Schaffer. I'm a Hopkins professor, a partner here with APL and director of the Ralph O'Connor Sustainable Energy Institute. So it's my pleasure to host this panel, and I will introduce myself to start a little bit about the Institute, like two slides, and then I'll have the rest of the panelists do a similar introductions. And then we have some really specific expertise in energy storage and industrial decarbonization really today.

So we'll do a little bit of a dive into those two topics and then all the tendrils that that touch. So just to tell you a little bit about myself and our institute, to see if I can navigate all of the wonderful toys. Maybe I'll let you guys do. Next slide. Wonderful. That's our logo. That was easy. Next slide.

So about two years ago, the university decided that it wanted to get serious about bringing together all of the energy researchers at Hopkins Endowed an institute, and then pushed out a funding to create a mission oriented, university wide institute in the energy transition focused on developing and equitably deploying energy technologies. This mission and this kind of all of the university approach mirrors what we see at all of the government approaches to all of the DOD approaches. The fact that the energy transition requires much more than any one organization, because each one of us is sort of set up for failure of the person next to us doesn't also carry the ball as well. So if you go to the next slide, you'll see that this particular group at our university, the partner to the Applied Physics Lab, does include the engineers but also social scientists. And in its initial sort of bringing together and it's a group that's hiring about 20 more faculty in addition to what was already there, which was about 60 folks that are affiliated with energy and about 30 that were primarily already energy researchers are focused on all of the processes around transformation generation of energy and then equitable implementation. So it's a pretty broad remit, and I'm practicing for all of it.

So I guess I have a little bit of knowledge on a lot of topics. Wind energy turns out to be the one that I'm actually specifically work on personally, and we'll touch upon that really briefly today. And if you go to the next slide, it turns out that this particular panel, with its expertise in carbon management and storage, really mirrors well with what our institute has picked as its primary pillars. So happy to talk with any of you about our work in carbon storage, wind and grid, or everything we do to try to connect that together. So that's a brief introduction to myself and my organization, and I'm going to take it to the panelists now. First, Priyanka, who's going to tell you a little bit more about herself.

Right. Next slide. So I'm Priyanka Hogan. I'm currently the chief of staff for the Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. My background is in environmental engineering.

I did a little bit of environmental compliance and permitting work and then ended up transitioning to policy work and spent some time on Capitol Hill doing environmental and climate research and development policy. Just in January, I made the leap to the executive branch and joined me at this really exciting time where FCM is in the process of implementing billions of dollars of funding that were provided in the bipartisan infrastructure law to deploy carbon management efforts. So if you go to the next slide, the mission of FCM is to minimize environmental and climate impacts of fossil fuels and industrial processes while reaching our net zero emissions targets laid out by the Biden-Harris administration. So our our priority technology areas are broken into two main offices, the Office of Carbon Management, which has a lot of expertise and a strong and diverse portfolio and issues related to point source carbon capture, carbon dioxide removal, CO2 conversion into products, as well as CO2 storage and hydrogen production and storage and transport, which includes geologic storage as well. And then we also have our Office of Resource Sustainability that does work in methane mitigation efforts as well as sustainable minerals, which is very relevant to some of the conversations we're having on national security and sustainability of of the trends that are helping make the transition to energy transition sustainable. So I am looking forward to kind of diving into some of these topics with the panel.

Wonderful. So thank you, Franca. So we're going to turn it over to Kostis for the next introduction. Thank you, Ben. I'm sorry, are some and I see some program manager in the research department at the EPA. I'm a material scientist by training. And here at APL, I lead a team of scientists and engineers that are working on novel technologies for power sources and electrification.

And though we do this a lot to impact the D.O.D. mission, electrification and better fuel utilization, alternative fuel technologies have been identified as critical objectives in the Climate Action Plan of all three services. And at first glance, this is not substantially different than the broader strategy at the national level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. But the D.O.D., as this room is well aware, that there are applications that are presenting unique challenges that are often not considering broader use.

And this slide summarizes some of them. They're extremely well documented also in the National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries and the Action Plan for Securing supply Chain. So I highly recommend this as as resources. But in short, extreme operational environments is a big challenge. For example, tactical vehicles require a much wider temperature range compared to consumer EVs. Batteries have much more strict safety requirements in through the entire lifecycle, from transport to storage to use and even disposal.

The view uses multiple different types of batteries for the various platforms, system systems and soldier borne applications, which somewhat limits this capability to leverage commercial and geo investments in energy storage. Because there is no single type of sale that can translate from the consumer applications to the D.O.D.. And last but not least, something that has been discussed a lot today, the complex logistics associated with taking fuel to the field, particularly in remote and austere environments, not only from the infrastructure and complexity, but also, as you heard earlier from Merritt Berger, from the safety of our warfighters in the field.

So in recognition of these challenges, the next slide shows the line of research that we have stood up here at the APL that can be broadly categorized in five areas. We are developing power sources in novel form factors where we aspire to develop renewable energy sources that can be integrated, directing the systems, for example, in textiles and fibers. And then we can envision situations where we reduce the number of power sources that are used in the field.

And somehow I alleviate the logistics burden. We are working a lot on improving lithium ion battery safety to ensure safety and resilience in mission and in operations without compromising performance and efficiency. We're taking several approaches to mitigate the risks of supply chains and potential production disruptions in the future as the demand for batteries and electrification grows.

And we're doing it in two ways looking at high energy density battery technologies with abundant materials and also a cradle to grave approach to the battery manufacturing cycle for new technologies to source critical minerals that are used in battery manufacturing and also battery recycling. And finally, something that was brought up in the in the previous panel. New technologies to generate the fuel on demand, particularly converting CO2 to fuels like methane or nitrogen to ammonia. We're looking at it from the catalytic standpoint and the high throughput electrochemistry to screen candidates materials that can do this efficiently and in a green manner.

So happy to talk about all these technologies in the next hour and see how some of them can be a game changer for decarbonization. Wonderful. That's Thank you, Kostis. That's excellent. I can say with our institute, a lot of our professors are able to collaborate with us here at APL.

They have the best toys. Thank you. Hi, everyone. I'm Kate Fifer with our next energy. I'm the director of Public Sector Strategy.

My background, though, is primarily federal government. I initially started out at the Government Accountability Office working on the contract National Security and Acquisition team. I did a lot of focus on DOD, DHS and NAS contracts and acquisitions.

And then after that, I joined Defense Innovation Unit as a contractor program manager, where I focused on operational and installation energy, specifically tactical vehicle hybridization, as well as EV charging. So I recently joined one about three months ago. So I'm, you know, cut my teeth on it.

Next slide, please. So one's mission is to accelerate the adoption of EVs by using safe, sustainable materials without compromising range and their kind of three core tenets with one's mission, the first being range and eliminating range anxiety. A lot of folks, that's one of the big topics in terms of why folks might not buy an EV car currently is because of the range aspect. So we're aiming to potentially double that range if you go further. The second is safety. We primarily use lithium ion phosphate chemistry, which is much safer and reduces the thermal runaway risk, which also ties into DOD's safety issues.

And then third, supply by using our PE, those minerals are much more abundant in North America and we can develop and create a North America supply chain which has national security implications. So all of these reasons of one's mission tie well into the Department of Defense current needs. Next slide, please. And so here are some of the high level highlights on the company.

It started in 2020, so it's about three years old. Production is starting this year specifically on the areas of battery with four further products coming down the line. We've finished up our Series B, We are starting to see funding and we are about 300 employees just to give a scope of the growth of this company. So I'm happy to speak at this panel, bringing in kind of a mixture of both my D.O.D.

background as well as one's technology aspect, and see how it might address needs in the Department of Defense. Fantastic. We'll definitely come back to that, but I think we'll finish it off in terms of the introductions with Avi, please. Great. Thanks, Ben, and thanks for having me and for the invitation to be here. I'm Avi Schultz. I'm the deputy director of the Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office at the Department of Energy.

And if you move to the next slide, I'll talk a little bit about our mission. So we're looking at the industrial sector of the entire US economy, which contributes about 33%, about a third of the nation's primary energy use. It's even a little bit more. Sorry, about 30%. That contributes about 30% of total CO2 emissions.

It's actually a little bit more than that because that 30% of CO2 emissions is energy related CO2 emissions. But there are a number of industrial processes that have inherent process emissions as well, like cement manufacturing or or steel manufacturing, that that that is our mission for our office to get that that 33% of emissions in the US down to zero consistent with the administration's goal of a net zero economy for the US by 2050. Critically, the challenge there is not just reducing that to zero, which theoretically you could do by stopping producing things in the US, which is not our strategy in, you know, but we need to figure out how to develop the materials that come out of the industrial sector in a decarbonized fashion, and not just in a decarbonized fashion, but with the quality and with the market that will accept those materials and utilize them to the extent that they're being utilized now.

And that's, of course, critically why I think it's important for me to be here in talking to consumers of these materials like like DOD and other kind of national security applications. If you click again, one of the you know, we the first question we asked ourselves in setting up this office, which is a relatively new office India would do. So we just as we were just stood up last October, the first question we kind of were asking even before we stood up the office is, is this possible? So we we released what we called the industrial decarbonization roadmap last September, which laid out the technical feasibility of full industrial decarbonization in the US that analyzed this from the perspective of four primary technology pillars carbon capture, utilization, storage, industrial electrification and low carbon fuels feedstocks and energy storage sources, and energy efficiency.

With an additional important fifth pillar of manufacturing, technology and materials innovation that are going to enable all four of those approaches. And if you click one more time, we put a significant amount of of analysis, although still certainly not a comprehensive, granular, economy wide analysis that really showed up, showed that with the pool of technologies that we believe are at least technically feasible, although most of them are not yet commercially developed, we can get to 100% decarbonization by 2050. And this is this waterfall chart you show is kind of, again, from that analysis, a nominal, at least feasible pathway towards what for what that looks like, where the significant amount of the near-term applications being energy efficiency and then significant growth over the next couple of decades of electrification, low carbon fuels, and then carbon capture, utilization and storage. I will emphasize that this is a strategy for DOA as a whole.

So we're working really closely with our colleagues in FCM and other offices, obviously, particularly on the carbon capture, utilization and storage part of it with FSM, but with other offices, especially for the the low carbon energy sources in particular. If you go to the next slide, what we're working on in our office, the strategy that we've laid out for ourselves is looking at kind of three different technology pillars and teams that we've set up. These are those teams and those are the the program managers. They're leading each of those teams.

The first one is focused on energy and emissions intensive industries. So looking at the highest emitting industrial subsectors in the US and in particular we've identified the highest priority five subsectors, which are the chemicals manufacturing sector, cement and concrete manufacturing, iron and steel, food and beverage and forest products. So primarily paper and pulp manufacturing, those are the five highest emitting subsectors.

And each one of those requires very specific bespoke strategies that are going to required that are going to be required to decarbonize those processes. Our Cross-sector Technologies team is looking at the cross-cutting approaches that are going to be required. So looking at low carbon fuels, utilization, hydrogen, but also other fuels as well.

And how do we how do we actually utilize not just produce those, but how do we actually utilize and develop the infrastructure that we need for that electrified process heating? We actually just announced a few weeks ago a $70 million institute led by Arizona State University that's developed. It's going to be that that the central point of our strategy for developing electrified process heating and then water and wastewater technology as well. That's a critical part of our Cross-sector Technologies team that intersects, of course, the industrial sector critically, but also in many other aspects of the economy and national security, as we've heard extensively today. And then finally, our third team is focused on technical assistance and workforce development. This team is engaging directly with organizations and facilities that require the tools and capabilities and and technical expertise that we can provide through our networks, both through partnerships that we've set up as well as through the national laboratories, to deliver, again, the tools and expertise to their hands so that they can understand how to deploy the the most rigorous use of commercial technology today to achieve their decarbonization goals.

I mentioned that team actually has already had a significant amount of interaction with DOD and defense facilities there. They've worked with a number of DOD military installations to work on energy, manage deploying energy management systems, as well as defense contractors like Lockheed Martin to work on reducing emissions and increasing the efficiency of their manufacturing plants. So I'll pause there. I'm sure we'll get more into what we're talking about, but I'll leave that for construction. Fantastic. I. So

throughout the day today, we've been talking a lot about climate change and you might have felt a slight shift in this last panel in that there is want to make something that's a little implicit now totally explicit, which is climate change is a climate disaster if we don't decarbonize. So job one, in addition to dealing with all the downstream effects, is we have to decarbonize. Right. So everyone on this stage is in organizations 100% dedicated to that goal in some sense. And it's very explicit and it's a very tangible sort of active thing. So rather than sort of passively thinking about how the DOD will change or how it's dealing with national security threats as an organization, you know, we seek to to to to rise up some of the leaders we met today that are trying to make this enormous transition internally. In addition to all the external challenges that it has to deal with.

So we as you can see, we have experts across a number of areas. And I think I would start first with this energy storage challenge. So fuel is actually an enormous risk in its current form in transportation, in acquisition, in every aspect. And so when we look at a competing technology, it's probably not fair to just assume there's no risk with what we do now. There's huge risk with what we do now.

And in both Kate and Costas are thinking a lot about what energy storage at all different scales are going to look like for a number of different sectors. And they introduce you to certain aspects of that. So I'd ask them to just sort of go a little bit deeper, tell us a little bit more about what the DOD needs to know about energy storage going forward. And I'll start with Kate and then cost as follows. Okay. Yeah. So I'm from California, so I flew in this morning and when I landed, it's like, wait, I haven't left the West Coast.

So with all the smoke. So this actually reminds me of all the wildfires that have been happening out on the West Coast. And during those wildfires, power goes out pretty frequently. And so energy storage is a very important piece to that, both locally, regionally and nationally. So one of the products that one is developing is called Areas Great Product, which is a storage unit that will allow you to to basically create a microgrid. And so it is made using the live piece.

So as I mentioned previously, so it's safer, it's more sustainable, it's easier to build. And we're also producing it in the United States of America. So we'll be totally IRA compliant, which I think is a big aspect that we've been hearing about a bit today. And that's definitely been a game changer for this area. And so this year we are validating said products and it will be you will be well certified. And then one example I'd like to speak to is starting next year, we're going to be installing this product at Ravenswood in partnership with Berkshire Hathaway Energy Renewables as part of the largest solar and battery microgrid in the world at a titanium smelting plant will be, which will be part of the defense industrial base and that will be able to use solar energy 24 seven via the batteries.

So there's just all these intersections with energy storage and national security via plants like this, via remote installations in austere environments. You need to be able to have energy delivered to them, but do it in a safe, sustainable manner. Just so for me, before I go into like a technical approach is I want to set the stage for the scale of energy at the deal. These are what we can sort of figure out the opportunity and challenge for it for energy storage. So the energy consumption in the deal, these categorized as insulation energy, which is what we use in fixed facilities and to power the non tactical vehicles and also operation on that energy, which is the the energy on the go to power of the kinetic platforms and nonpermanent bases abroad.

So as you heard earlier from Mr. Brian, installation Energy's about 30% and operational areas about 70%. Most of it goes to fuel. So one combining the two. In 2021, the DOD consumed about 650 trillion BTU that resulted in 558 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

So essentially we consume more than Denmark and we emit more than I would want if we wanted to put it in the scale. I don't think these numbers are shocking for this audience necessarily. The exciting thing for other scientists and engineers is if you pull the curtain a little bit and look at the what this numbers mean in terms of our technology development opportunities, and I'll use a very simple example of the simple case are what would it take for us to electrify the non tactical vehicle fleet? We have about 170,000 on tactical vehicles. These are the the sedans, the trucks, the minivans, the busses that are in the various installations. Right.

So from that 650 trillion bit use, 1% only was used for mobile combustion that corresponds if we do you would assume like a 20% efficiency efficiency for an internal combustion engine, the equivalent battery capacity to decarbonize just the non tactical vehicle fleet would be about 370 gigawatt hours, which is five times higher than the battery capacity that we currently have in the US or we had in 2021, our projected capacity in 2025 is about 225 gigawatt hours. So immediately you understand the magnitude of the challenge. And then just for the 1%, the non tactical vehicles without even accounting for all the other kinetic platforms. So once you start looking at it from that standpoint, there's so many opportunities for innovation. It's not just a matter of increasing battery capacity and building factories.

We need novel approaches like what Cade said, addressing the safety increase in the range, making electric vehicles acceptable for use in the various missions, supply chain constraints, vastly different technologies that we have to take into account, like I said earlier, from cradle to grave for finding the securing the supply chain for manufacturing, recycling and building batteries that have very good performance comparable to internal combustion engines and do not compromise the mission efficiency and safety and success. Fantastic. And I think that gives the audience an entry into some of the storage expertise on the in the panel. But but we could certainly go deeper. Let's pivot now to our other sort of major topic, which I think Avi summarized really well in his is Organizations group, which is industrial decarbonization, kind of writ kind of writ large.

All the processes that that we rely on. And there's a there the really hard one, right? So not only do we need to electrify all of our processes, there's all sorts of processes that have to be totally transitioned because they can't be electrified and need new new methods, of course. And then also the dirty secret that doesn't get us there either. We have to go net negative, so we actually have to grab carbon. That's already that.

We already know that that our kids, you know, didn't aren't responsible for. But we did and we've got to pull that out as well. So huge decarbonization efforts at all levels.

So let's talk about industrial decarbonization. I want you tell us a little bit what your organization is doing and some of your past experience. And then we'll give you a chance as well. Yeah, absolutely. So as I kind of mentioned and Avi touched on to the carbon management portfolio, is is really critical to meeting the net zero economy wide emissions goal because even if we stopped emitting today, we would need to continue to pull some of the carbon that's in the atmosphere and also out of the ocean because we oftentimes forget how much of a buffer the ocean plays within the climate system when it comes to heat and carbon emissions as well. So really trying to make sure that we can build a robust value chain across the carbon management spectrum, from carbon capture, removal, conversion and transport and geologic storage is, you know, the key priorities that we're working on within FSM. We have a number of different initiatives that are at various TRL stages and working to get them ready for large scale demos pilots and ultimately for deployment.

And so working across Department of Energy and working with colleagues at DOD are really good opportunities to identify consumers that would be using products that are products or processes that have been decarbonized is something that is of of great importance to the work that we're doing within FSM. And we also are, you know, want to think about it in a broader context of the importance that carbon management would play in the national security context in the long term, not looking at individual industrial processes, but thinking about how having a robust carbon management strategy can help us achieve our climate goals in a faster timeline and a faster time frame to to support national security interests as well. We do want to follow up on that and talk a little bit about the DOD impacts as well. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Let me I'll get to that and let me go into a little bit more detail, kind of what I started it started out with and what I really want to emphasize is that, you know, in a lot of respects, you know, I laid out a pretty significant challenge for for for my office and for us overall in terms of industrial decarbonization.

It's even more challenging than I than I've made it appear on that slide. You know, when we talk about the industrial sector, which of course, is made up of lots and lots of different subsectors, each of which is made up of lots and lots of different types of facilities, each one, including lots of different kinds of processes, creating lots and lots of different products that even in two facilities that are nominally making the same product, either the facility can be entirely configured differently or the products that they're making could be either nominal, while nominally similar, have significant differences. So it's going to be really, really challenging to do that. So what we really have, you know, in terms of the challenge for us and I and I think for all of us working on industrial decarbonization is to understand how we prioritize what specifically we focus on and, you know, to get the biggest bang for our buck.

And so, you know, I think about this and I think we and I you know, and we certainly think about this in terms of two prongs. The first is, you know, where are the biggest emissions? Right? So obviously, that's why I'm kind of focusing on or we're focusing on in our office, the highest emitting industrial subsector is that's where, you know, we should be focusing our effort rather than on, you know, some niche application. So for example, in our chemicals portfolio, there are, you know, thousands, if not tens of thousands of different chemical products we could be working on. But what we're really focusing our chemicals manufacturing portfolio on are the highest priority, highest volume, highest emitting platform chemicals like say, ethylene, btcs, you know, acetic acid, things like that that then are the feedstocks and then for the rest of the chemicals industry and if we can decarbonize those, then we take a big chunk out of the overall supply chain emissions.

The second prong that where we think about how we prioritize then is where do we see market pull? Because one of the real challenges, you know, as I alluded to, you know, all of these products that we're producing in the industrial sector aren't just going out into a vacuum. They are being bought by other parts of our economy. So where you know, and as we transition to decarbonized versions of these industrial processes and products, where are we going to see the near-term opportunities, the near-term customers that are going to be willing to accept these certainly initially novel, you know, non-zero risk versions of conventional materials? I'll say that's why I was extremely heartened to hear kind of all the discussion today about the extent to which DOD is taking this seriously as a risk and looking forward to future partnerships between DOD and our offices and others.

In terms of DOD potentially being one of those major customers. Right. We all I mean, we all we're all familiar with the procurement power, the DOD and other parts of the government as well. But certainly the old have and the potential for DOD and other related customers to potentially be some of those initial niche markets that might be willing to take some of the initial you know, I don't always want I don't necessarily want to say risk because in a lot of cases these are products or materials for which we have validated ID performance data, but not obviously the decades of service condition service experience that would allow, say, a lot of kind of really conservative, risk averse, you know, say, commercial building manufacturers except say, a new cement formulation. But I can certainly imagine I think a lot of us can certainly maybe interested in specific applications where, you know, in in again, in DOD, where we may be able to accept initial deployment of some of these new, newer materials to help develop the market.

So that's something that I'm really looking forward to in future collaborations with your excellent AbbVie. We certainly could talk more about that as there's there's a lot of challenges there, but I want to transition a little bit something that runs through everybody on the panel. And the the idea in general is is is clean energy, new technology, adoption. Right? So so everybody's got a role and lots of people are now trying to push for us to be able to deploy, deploy, deploy. An example that's it's personal to me is is the work I do in wind energy where they have the wind energy technology office has a cute way of describing this challenge that they're taking on and it's called now Forward Connect, Transform. So what can you do now? That's one particular type of wind technology.

What can I do forward? I can see it. It's not here yet, but I can I can deploy it relatively soon. And then something that's almost always the case with respect to renewable energy sources is the connection of the generation to the final use is different than than what you did before. And so that connect is really powerful. And then Transform is keeping at least some step forward in doing something very different. Right?

So could be cogeneration or it could be some wild new technology. And that's that's that's their way of looking at it. But every agency, every organization is trying to do the same thing, but we're all trying to get to the same place. So I use that as a way to to ask the panel to jump off in terms of their organization. And you know, what aspect in that proposition are they really invested in and what are they trying to do? And if they see opportunity for the DOD in any part of that deployment and development chain. So, yeah, Kate, you want to start us off on that one? Yeah, I think I'll speak to the now on the forward aspect too, since we have limited time.

So but within now I'll just, you go back to the RFP, that technology has been around for quite a while. It's not new. It's just most of the production currently is in China, which is a national security issue, as we all know. But and but if we want to produce it in the United States, it just takes time to build manufacturing plants, which one is doing. But it will you know, it's not a quick process and it's not overnight.

So the we will you know, we can still use that technology as we build out those manufacturing plants and that's kind of like now aspect is like it's here we have it. We just need to get it into vehicles, into grid storage systems and deploy them, as you said. And the forward part I'll speak to is that doubling the EV range so that that range anxiety for consumers. And then also it does have defense applications. That is a dual chemistry.

So it's kind of using it's using our key technology as well as a range extender. So the RFP technology handles, you know, local travel, the 50 mile you're going to the grocery store, you're picking up your kids from school, and the range extender is only used during those long car trips, so those two or three times a year. So if you're driving and any of your charger is broken or you can't find one, you don't have to worry about it. So that's kind of that future forward technology.

While we don't have those high energy density chemistries that are, you know, safe for EV consumption yet we will get there in the future. It just takes time to research and develop and make it safe. There are technologies we can use close in the future that will kind of bridge that gap between the current and the forward facing cost. This is I put some ideas in your mind looks like.

Oh yeah, definitely. I can do my best to address all four aspects that you brought up, but starting with the now, I can talk about the research that we do here, but also maybe give a perspective about what I think we should be doing more broadly in the energy storage. We have to make our batteries for various applications more adoptable, and that comes with improving their safety and their power. The rate capability. If we want to use the electric vehicle analogy, we don't want to be spending one hour 2 hours charging our lives.

We want to spend the same time that we spend on the pump that will help EVs become more proliferated in the in the consumer market. One can draw the parallel sue to do the applications. You don't want to be recharging for 4 hours. You want to do it in a very short amount of time.

So that translates to materials in cell design and chemistry challenges that you have to address. So developing materials that can handle a very high rates safely, avoid dendrite formation during charging. We want to transform the electrolytes. We we are pursuing research in both of these areas, safe on those materials, safe electrolytes in the form of either a gel polymer, electrolyte or solid state electrolytes.

And these are in in good sync with approaches that are being pursued in industry now. And I think we should definitely double down on those. The the lithium ion batteries of today provide an excellent platform for a drop in replacement for a lot of these these new technologies.

So I think this is an area that we have to continue to pursue now. Now, looking forward maybe ten years from now, there's a lot of opportunity for exciting research that also has the national security implications. So starting from the supply chain, currently most batteries use nickel and cobalt on the cathode and that poses a supply chain risk because we don't produce any of that here in the United States. So if we want to have secure supply chains, we have to move away from this material. The power of material discovery. That was the scars discussed in the in the previous panel.

This is also something that we're starting to employ in the energy storage field. So look through massive libraries of materials and identify those that do not rely on the minerals that we cannot source. But in parallel, we are we are well aware of chemistries that are very promising and rely on abundant material such as sulfur, for example. So just to give an appreciation for that, the annual production of sulfur in the United States is, I think, eight and a half million tons, and that is much larger than the total lithium reserves here. So we could use sulfur to build very large capacity of batteries.

But then another problem arises if we utilize all our resources, what do we do then? That's when we start to look into other technologies looking forward in terms of how can we mine lithium from alternative sources such as seawater, where you have a lot more reserves compared to the sulfur we use now? And also how do we recycle batteries effectively so that the ones that we're putting in the field now can be reused maybe 20 years from now, Now to quickly catch up on maybe the the connect and the transit, the transform aspects connect me. It all means are connecting energy source to the grid. Ah, Kate mentioned some examples of how they're using batteries that were traditionally using the EV industry and now connecting to renewable sources such as solar in the D.O.D.. Again, I'll go back to the non tactical vehicles. It presents a great opportunity because there's a lot of renewable projects in installations, so that gives us a great initial testbed to see how we can integrate energy storage to the grid and also a vehicle to green technologies.

So I think this is an area we will definitely looking to keep looking into as a game changer. And in terms of transforming the future, for me, the primary aim is energy and demand that will both got our CO2 emissions footprint, improved logistics and it will be substantial. It will have substantial impact up on the mission. So the technologies we discussed earlier, converting CO2 to fuel on demand, essentially you take greenhouse gas and convert it into something usable in in a circular fashion or create ammonia from nitrogen.

This can be definitely game changing technologies, and I'm happy to hear that the D.O.D. is looking at them from that standpoint. It it's not just in the purview of the DOE, so looking forward to doing a lot of more of that in the future. Thanks.

Cosmos So Priyanka, your technology development portfolio is pretty broad, but maybe you can pick an example or two and yeah. Absolutely. I think I can touch on probably three of the topics you brought up on Connect to.

One of the significant priorities of our Carbon management office is actually engagement. Engagement is pretty critical to making sure that we can successfully deploy these these suite of technologies that we're working so hard to develop. It's really important to engage on the ground with communities and to to help support long term deployment of these technologies and making sure that they understand what carbon management actually means and kind of demystifying that process and understanding that. So that is a key priority not only for our office but for the Department of Energy and the administration writ large to make sure that, you know, also identifying opportunities for workforce development and making sure that there is broad public support for a lot of these efforts that we are working so diligently on deploying in the now the carbon management field is is has a pretty robust history.

There are a lot of technologies that are well understood and and are at the the stage two ready for a little bit more of a broader deployment than what we've seen. So trying to take advantage of where our current knowledge is and getting ready to kind of move forward in those spaces. And then as we look forward, kind of touching on what obvious talked about is looking at some of those harder to decarbonize sectors and really tackling that is the next challenge of, okay, we understand how to decarbonize certain certain aspects of our economy.

Now let's get to the ones that are actually really tricky and have a lot also have significant emissions. And, you know, we really need to kind of do a lot of collaboration, whether that's within the federal government, whether that's with academia or industry, trying to understand how we can develop some solutions to tackle those aspects. And then also building off of what Costa said is trying to understand for critical minerals sustainability, is there a way for us to be producing some of these metal oxides from unconventional sources, from waste streams? And, you know, instead of going after immediate mining and drilling, if there are ways for us to utilize some of the waste streams that are already existing from a lot of the critical mineral and mining work that we've done. Excellent of you put a suite of different technologies on the on the screen and and are involved in different levels of their deployment.

And I'm kind of curious also whether or not the office is imagining Dodoo is the first customer or the the one that waits until all of that settled and then and then and then adopts. So, yeah. Tell us a little bit more about your office's strategy on that, on the deployment and the development side. Sure. Yeah. I mean, I'll just have David answer your, your, your, your D.O.D. question first.

I think we'll, we'll be happy to accept Jody as a partner or whatever forever, whatever your plans answer, I think. Happy to engage. Well, we'll take we'll take that. Whatever we can get it. But in terms of deployment, right. Maybe I'll answer the question by saying, you know, I've I've been in DC almost ten years now, so I'm new to this industrial efficiency and decarbonization office.

But previously I was in the solar office in India. We, we very it's very much baked into our DNA, unlike some of the DOD research agencies or DAFA, where we aren't our own customer, we have to we intrinsically have to work with the private sector and look to external markets for our for the research, for the technologies that we're developing. And so, again, the ten years that I've been in D.O.D., it's baked into our culture to talk about valleys of death, of technology development. And we've always, you know, spent a long time kind of strategizing about how we can develop, you know, modalities and funding programs and strategies to overcome the valley of death, the multiple valleys of death that exist. This is the first time with the huge investments that we've got from the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act.

This is the first time that I've been since I've been to DOJ that we have offices and programs covering the entire technology development spectrum from the initial basic research, applied research, initial small scale demonstrations, large scale demonstrations, and even funding for the ACT. With the reauthorization or expanded authorization of the Loan Programs Office and the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations and an Office of Manufacturing, energy supply chains, money funding even to support the initial of technology. So and I think Priyanka alluded a bit to this kind of in her opening remarks. This is an extremely exciting time to be in Delhi and to work with all these different programs.

And we, you know, our office as well as FSM and all the offices in India, we are working really, really closely with that. The Loan programs office, the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations to really come up with a comprehensive pipeline of technologies at every single stage of a of that maturity level. So for all of those technologies that I that I showed in those initial slides, we are very actively thinking and to some extent I've started to talk publicly.

And for the ones that we're not talking publicly about, I very much have significant kind of internal discussions and planning about kind of what that specific technology development pipeline looks like. What I'll so that's kind of, you know, our overall strategy, what I'll say about some of the specific technologies that we're looking at is that one of the challenges there, of course, in kind of looking at that, you know, extrapolation of, you know, in the near term, somewhat, you know, it's it's easy. And we have a lot of work, obviously, looking at the near term and we're engaged with initiatives like the by Clean Initiative led out of the White House coordinating procurement efforts across the federal government and and certainly in our office in Delhi generally, we're bringing a lot of our analytical expertise to help support the evaluation of that. But as you look into the longer term for for some of these technologies, it does become a pretty big question mark around what the future looks like and what target we're actually trying to hit in terms of these technologies.

All right. So to just take one example, one of the big pillars that I showed you in my slide in terms of decarbonization is industrial electrification. Now, I don't know if itself, of course, electrification is not a decarbonization strategy, certainly not if the grid that we're using to electrify is our current fossil fuel emitting or carbon emitting grid.

However, kind of again, as Priyanka alluded to, we think the electric grid is one of the you know, I hesitate coming from from my background in solar. I hesitate to call the grid an easy to decarbonize sector, but it certainly looks easier than the industrial sector. And we think it's ahead of schedule of where we are with the industrial sector. But if we're about to put all of this industrial load that currently is being met through natural gas and other fossil fuels, if we're going to say we're going to electrify all of that.

And that's just to give you a sense of the scale. We're talking about about half of all of the carbon emissions from the industrial sector are attributable to process heating of various process in the industrial sector. Right? And so if we're saying we're going to electrify all of that process heating, that is a massive amount of energy that almost universally requires 24 hour demand, or certainly at least in flexible demand, in order to maintain the profitability of these facilities. What is that going to look like to the grid and what are the technologies look like to get us? Do you think that the coupling of a decarbonized grid to meet that demand? To be perfectly honest, we don't know. We have some guesses, but the way we're approaching that is by putting together a portfolio of technology is in our funding program. So we are very actively developing in electrification.

We're very actively developing strategies for on site electric generation and low carbon electric generation and industrial facilities. We're aggressively developing process flexibility technologies. So a lot of development of smart manufacturing, next generation sensors and controls and digital manufacturing to enable the load, the load flexibility from from the facilities technologies like thermal energy storage. So how can we take the flexibility of the grid and decouple that from your industrial process, heat demand. So if you have, say, thermal energy storage, electrified thermal energy storage, you can you can ramp your your load on the grid depending on availability of carbon free resources, but still maintain constant 24 hour heat demand, keep keep supply to the industrial facility.

And then of course, onsite electric storage as well. So all this discussion of batteries and next generation electric storage is going to be intrinsically important to the industrial sector as well. So that's just one example. We can walk through kind of that scenario again for all the different technologies we're looking at. But that's just maybe one illustration of how we're thinking about this.

Yeah, fantastic. I'd love to ask more questions, but I look at the clock and I realize it's pretty much your turn. So if there's any questions in the audience for this panel, I'm certainly welcome to take them in.

Please. Sure. I have one comment and one question. The comment is too obvious. Point on there being a lot of money from the infrastructure bill in the IRA. DOD was shut out of both of those bills.

If you bring money to the table, I expect you'll find a willing partner because they are jealously looking at all the other federal agencies that got money in that context. The question. Is on. Products made in China, whether it's batteries, solar panels or whatever. The Armed Services Committee is thinking about prohibitions on DOD using products made in China and particularly focused on batteries and solar and so on and so forth.

Never mind the fact that every iPhone in the Pentagon was made in China and so on. But but in that context, can you talk to me about what the implications of a prohibition like that would be on the ability of DOD to, you know, use batteries, for example? Are they all made in China? I mean, what's the what's the the degree to which that kind of a step would impact progress on these clean energy goals? COSTESSEY when you look like you're ready to answer. So yeah, I can't comment on the broader policy aspect, but I can comment on the scale of energy. I mean, I mentioned the electric, the non tactical electric vehicles as an example, right? But I want to take this to the material level, right? That we source material from foreign sources. We don't produce a lot of material here. Right.

So we have to address both the material production and the of manufacturing production. Now the impact obviously would be substantially for our cost of this stuff procured from overseas. We can't build batteries, right? We've got we don't have real supply. So it would be very disruptive.

I don't think it's something that can be stopped immediately. We cannot completely eliminate our reliance on sourcing material from other from outside the U.S. and we have already so many systems and capabilities that we have to power can comment on what the policy is right now to regulate these. But definitely in the example I mentioned with the non tactical vehicles, you can just magical flip a switch and say we're going to turn all 170,000 vehicles into EV gasoline powered TV vehicles. We don't have the capacity to do it.

So it's going to take time. We have to gradually build the capabilities from the material level, the cell manufacturing, and then be able to do fully reliant on domestic supply chain. Obviously, in the national blueprint from for lithium ion batteries, for lithium batteries, that partnership with allied nations is identified also as a are an important critical step that needs to be taken. Kato mentioned, for example, like materials like VR are highly abundant in in Canada and in in North America. Some of the alternative materials also that could be used as safe Arnolds are in allied nations as well. So I would assume that this is something that our leaders are taking into account when discussing potential policies of of that nature.

But for us as scientists, we have to keep working hard on making good working there is with domestically available materials. So that your company would get bigger. It sounded like. Yeah, we'll get there. So that was one point I wanted to raise and I did hit on it earlier is like it takes time to build up these manufacturing capabilities from this, you know, from the ground all the way to the manufacturing plant. But also beyond that, if we shut off, you know, all the supply from international sources, now you have to test and validate new batteries, and that takes time and resources and capabilities.

So that is also a an issue that if you just cut off everything now would impact armed forces across the board on various things. So it's it's complicated. It's a it's a thing that, you know, might happen, but you have to think about the long term implications.

In the short term implications. You'd get American batteries eventually. So then another question. Yeah, please.

Hi. Thank you. Tom Dow, our with Lanza Tech. We're a biotech company that does carbon transformation. We take waste. Carbon sources feed them through biology and produce fuels, chemicals and products. Question is, is most likely for the DOE audience, but ideally as well, there's a lot of focus on carbon sequestration for particularly industrial production. And I'm just wondering if you're hearing enough from the carbon utilization community and understanding the need to really take waste carbon and convert it into those things.

And the DOD element of that is you can take waste carbon anywhere in the world and make the things that the warfighter needs in theater, for example. So we're very interested in projects like that. Thanks. Abby. You want to start with them? Sure. Yeah, I can start and yeah, I mean, I think we're extremely in this.

And so I mentioned that, you know, obviously within our our focus on energy, an emissions intensive industry is the chemicals subsector is a pretty big part of that. And and really if you look at and I'd say a big part of that, if you look at the existing chemicals manufacturing sector and combine that with with the current refining sector, which, you know, obviously is a feedstock into kind of the petrochemicals in addition to the fuel supply that constitutes about 37%, if I'm remembering right, of all of the CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from the industrial sector. So when I say it's a it's a focus, it's it's I mean, it's it's it's the gorilla in the room for our for our our strategy. And there are two, you know, two things you need to address. There's the energy input into the chemicals manufacturing.

And we're we're certainly addressing that in terms of everything that I've talked about, in terms of electrification and low carbon feedstocks and low carbon energy sources. But the second part of that is the intrinsic feedstock. So, you know, not not the entirety of the chemical sector, but a pretty significant part of it is carbon based organic chemicals, which of course today are almost entirely sourced through petrochemicals. And in fact, actually just a just a one week ago, two weeks ago, two weeks ago, I think sometimes lose track of time, we announced a deal or a huge new initiative.

So we have so many of you may have heard of our energy Earth shots. We've announced six of them previously. One of the previous six ones was was was also around the industrial sector. Our industrial heat shot, which was based around decarbonizing industrial process, heating down to about 85% of emissions, developing technologies consistent with 85% emissions reduction by 2035. But just a couple weeks ago we announced the seventh Energy Earthshot, which was our sustainable products and fuels Earthshot. And what this earthshot was all about is all about developing the carbon feedstock.

So right now, again, all of that carbon that's going into our chemical sector is coming from petroleum primarily and also a little bit from, you know, coal and natural gas, but primarily petroleum. If we're going to decarbonize where where is the carbon going to come from, if not fossil fuel sources? And so I think what what you're alluding to and certainly what we're extremely interested in is those sustainable sources of carbon. We're certainly thinking about that now in terms of particularly electro electrolysis of CO2, but other CO2 utilization, CO2 to chemicals pathways. Certainly our colleagues in other parts of DOE are thinking and certainly thinking about waste, current waste sources of carbon, biologic sources of carbon. Obviously our Bioenergy Technologies office really was in the lead for this sustainable products and fuel shot and obviously biomass is a huge part of this, but obviously also ECM is intrinsically involved in terms of carbon management and providing the the, the, the source of carbon for these sustainable carbon pathways.

So Frank, I'm sure you want to add on to. Yeah. I mean I will cosign everything I've said. Definitely a lot of interest in that in that utilization space and there is work going on there. But always happy to have more conversations to discuss where some of the gaps, where do we could help kind of move that portfolio of issues along. So yeah. Wonderful.

Well I'm looking at the clock and realize we've come to the conclusion of our panel, so I want to thank you for participating with us and I'm going to hand it off to Andy for some logistics. Thank you. Ben. Thank you. I won't keep you or the audience captive much more than just one minute. I would just like to say I think the morning punctuated beautifully the gravity and the scale and the challenge of the challenges we're facing.

And obviously the urgency and the motivation was with with which we need to try to attack them. Congratulations to the afternoon gave us just a glimpse into some of the technologies that are being worked on. I'm personally optimistic because of the nature of the technologies, but also the diversity of the groups that are attacking these problems.

So so thank you for all your contributions. One thing that one note we will do some post-processing, but the video will be published. We'll send a note to all the attendees. You'll have access to the videos and be able to go back to the content. So we'll get that out to everyone as well.

One other point I wanted to make, if you can go to the next slide, the hallmark of these events has been they haven't really finished any conversations. Rather, they've launched an accelerated conversation. So we'll continue that for the next few hours for those who can stay. As I mentioned throughout the event, we have about 30 demos that will be hosted back here along with food and drink. So again, I hope to continue and deepen t

2023-06-20 01:47

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