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ARPA-E Announces $66 Million for Transformational Energy Technologies

Thursday, September 19, 2013

33 Technologies in 18 States Will Help Secure America’s Energy Future in Advanced Manufacturing and Natural Gas 

WASHINGTON, DC--Deputy Director Cheryl Martin today announced that 33 breakthrough energy projects will receive approximately $66 million from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) under two new programs that provide options for a more sustainable and secure American future.

One program, Modern Electro/Thermochemical Advancements for Light-metal Systems (METALS), provides $32 million to find cost-effective and energy-efficient manufacturing techniques to process and recycle metals for lightweight vehicles. The other program, Reducing Emissions using Methanotrophic Organisms for Transportation Energy (REMOTE), provides $34 million to find advanced biocatalyst technologies that can convert natural gas to liquid fuel for transportation.

Deputy Director Martin made the project announcement during a roundtable discussion on Capitol Hill that focused on how American ingenuity and strategic public-private partnerships are driving U.S. energy innovation. The roundtable was hosted by the Pew Charitable Trusts and also included U.S. Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA); Phyllis Cuttino, Director of Clean Energy at The Pew Charitable Trusts; Bart Gordon, former Chairman of the House Science Committee; and Dr. Stephen Hoover, Chief Executive Officer, PARC, a Xerox company.

“The new ARPA-E projects announced today demonstrate ARPA-E’s commitment to providing critical, early-stage funding for innovative energy technologies,” said Deputy Director Martin. “Today’s roundtable discussion focused on the importance of transformational energy innovation and how strategic partnerships between federal and state government, academia and the private sector create new energy options for our future.”

“The United States has historically been a leader in new energy technologies, but we are increasingly facing competition from abroad.  We must continue to invest in high-potential technologies and engage our brilliant entrepreneurs to ensure that the U.S. remains the world leader in energy innovation.  These new projects announced today are just the latest in a steady stream of new and exciting ARPA-E projects that are changing our energy landscape,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06).

More information on ARPA-E’s two new programs and the 33 new projects is included below and can also be found HERE.

Modern Electro/Thermochemical Advancements for Light-metal Systems (METALS) - $32 Million

METALS will develop innovative technologies for cost-effective processing, as well as recycling, of Aluminum, Magnesium, and Titanium, which are ideal for creating lighter vehicles that can save fuel and reduce carbon emissions. For example, Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) located in Palo Alto, California will develop a new electrochemical diagnostic probe that can identify the composition of light metal scrap for efficient sorting, which could reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions, and costs by enabling recycling of typically discarded light metal scrap.

Reducing Emissions using Methanotrophic Organisms for Transportation Energy (REMOTE) - $34 Million

REMOTE will develop transformational biological technologies to convert gas to liquids (GTL) for transportation fuels. Current synthetic gas-to-liquids conversion approaches are technologically complex and require large, capital-intensive facilities, which limit widespread adoption. This program aims to lower the cost of GTL conversion while enabling the use of low-cost, low-carbon, domestically sourced natural gas. For example, GreenLight Biosciences, located in Medford, Massachusetts will develop a cell-free bioreactor that can convert large quantities of methane-to-liquid fuel in one step, which could enable mobile fermenters to access remote sources of natural gas for low-cost conversion of natural gas to liquid fuel.

ARPA-E was officially authorized in 2007 and first funded in 2009. The Agency invests in high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. ARPA-E is changing what’s possible by thinking big, thinking bold, and thinking differently about energy innovation. For more information on ARPA-E and its innovative project portfolio, please visit