Dow, Ford, Oak Ridge win federal grant for carbon fiber precursor development

The U.S. Department of Energy is granting $9 million, combined with $4.5 in private funds, to Dow, Ford and Oak Ridge National Labs for the development of a carbon fiber precursor based on polyelefin instead of the traditional polyacrylonitrile (PAN).

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The U.S. Department of Energy on June 12 announced new investments that support American leadership and global competiveness in manufacturing. The Energy Department awarded more than $54 million – combined with an additional $17 million in cost share from the private sector – for 13 projects across the country to advance transformational technologies and materials that can help American manufacturers increase the energy efficiency of their operations and reduce costs.

Among the winners the Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, Mich., USA) which, along with partners Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tenn., USA) and Ford Motor Co. (Detroit, Mich., USA), will receive $9 million in federal money, along with $4.5 million in private monies, to develop a lower cost carbon fiber precursor made from polyolefin rather than traditional polyacrylonitrile (PAN). 

“By investing in breakthrough technologies that can drastically reduce the amount of energy consumed during manufacturing, the Energy Department is supporting President Obama’s blueprint for an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, and skills for American workers,” says U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “When it comes to clean energy, our motto should be: ‘Invented in America, made in America, and sold around the world.’ The projects announced today will improve the competitive position of U.S. industry and help manufacturers produce more while saving energy, saving money and protecting our air and water.”

The projects selected for awards include:

  • Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. – Allentown, PA - $1.2 million
  • American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) – Salt Lake City, UT - $7.1 million
  • Delphi Automotive Systems, LLC – Rochester, NY - $3.7 million
  • General Motors LLC – Warren, MI - $2.7 million
  • Lyondell Chemical Company – Newtown Square, PA - $4.5 million
  • MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. – St. Peters, MO - $3.7 million
  • MIT – Cambridge, MA - $1 million
  • PolyPlus Battery Company – Berkeley, CA - $9 million
  • Research Triangle Institute – Research Triangle Park, NC - $4.8 million
  • Teledyne Scientific and Imaging – Thousand Oaks, CA - $2.1 million
  • The Dow Chemical Company – Midland, MI - $9 million
  • The University of Utah – Salt Lake City, Utah - $1.5 million
  • Third Wave Systems, Inc. – Minneapolis, MN - $4.1 million

Click here for a description of each award and project.