Exploratory Topics

Building Efficiency
Electrical Efficiency
Resource Efficiency
Transportation Energy Conversion
Transportation Fuels

Release Date:
Project Count:

Program Description:

These projects are broad in scope, and will cover a wide range of topics to encourage the most innovative and unconventional ideas in energy technology. The objective of these projects is to support high-risk R&D leading to the development of potentially disruptive new technologies across the full spectrum of energy applications. These projects will explore new areas of technology development that, if successful, could establish new program areas for ARPA-E, or complement the current portfolio of ARPA-E programs.


Program Director:
Multiple Program Directors manage this program. For specific PD information please refer to the project slick sheet.
Press and General Inquiries Email:

Project Listing

• Community Energy - Chemically Engineered Process for Enhanced Carbon Mineralization Potential
• Adroit Materials - Ion Implantation-enabled Fabrication of AlN-based Schottky Diodes
• Adroit Materials - kV-class GaN-based Junction Barrier Schottky Diodes Using Ion Implantation
• Advanced Conductor Technologies - Lightweight, High-power Density, Self-protecting Superconducting Power Cables and Connectors for Electric Aircraft Applications
• Advanced Ionics - Simplified Steam Electrolysis: Hydrogen for Hard-to-Abate Industries
• Altex Technologies - Low Cost Feed Flexible Plastics Reuse (LCFFPR)
• Amphionic - Nanostructured Pd-Anf Composites for Controlled LENR Exploitation
• Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) - Selective Hydrogenolysis of Pre-Consumer Polyolefins to Premium Synthetic Lubricants
• Artimus Robotics - Low-cost Electronics for Pressure-Agnostic Actuators Driving Bio-Inspired Vehicles for Deep Sea Mining
• Arva Intelligence - Rice n’ Grits: Quantifying Environmental Benefits of Bioenergy Crops through Complete Carbon and Nitrogen Accounting
• AtmosZero - Heat Pump to Decarbonize Industrial Steam
• Big Blue Technologies (BBT) - Carbon Negative Magnesium Metal Production Using a Cyclic Batch High Temperature Condenser
• Blue Sky Measurements - Optical NIR Fixed-Position Passive Scanner for Methane Detection and Measurement
• Brimstone Energy - Co-Generation of Low-Energy, CO2-Free Hydrogen and Ordinary Portland Cement from Ca-Rich Basalts
• C-Crete Technologies - Colloidally Ultrastable, Highly Insulating, and Thermally Conductive Nanofluid for Large Power Transformers
• C-Crete Technologies - Irradiation, Heat, and Corrosion Resistant Hexagonal Boron Nitride-Cement Coating For Mitigating Aging and Irradiation Effects in Nuclear Power Plants
• C-Zero - Molten-Salt Methane Pyrolysis Optimization Through in-situ Carbon Characterization andReactor Design
• California Institute of Technology (Caltech) - Transportable Thomson Scattering Diagnostic for Measuring Density and Temperature in Fusion-Relevant Magnetized Inertial Fusion Plasmas
• California Institute of Technology (Caltech) - Development of an Off-Shore, Stand-Alone System for Efficient CO2 Removal from Oceanwater
• Cambridge Crops - Enabling Technology - Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Energy Demands via Scaling Advanced 3D Culture Bioreactors
• Captura - Development of Thin Film Composite Hollow Fiber Membranes for Direct Ocean Capture
• Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) - Integrated Design of Chemical Admixture Systems For Ultradurable, Low Co2 Alternative Binder Chemistries Via Machine Learning
• Celadyne Technologies - Nanoionics Enabled Proton Conducting Ionomers
• Columbia University - Development of Biological and Electrochemical Technologies for the Clean Extraction of Copper and Critical Materials from Low Grade Ores
• Columbia University - Integrated CO2-facilitated Hydrometallurgical and Electrochemical Technology for Sustainable Mining and Recovery of Critical Elements from Wastes and Ashes
• Cornell University - Engineered Microorganisms for Enhanced Rare Earth Element Bio-Mining and Separations
• Creare - High-Efficiency, Low-Cost, Additive-Manufactured Air Contactor
• Deep Reach Technology - Improved Nodule Collector Design to Mitigate Sediment Plumes
• Designs by Natural Processes - Making Cement at Ambient Temperature Using 55% Municipal Solid Waste Ash
• Electrified Thermal Solutions - Firebrick Resistance-heated Energy Storage (FIRES)
• Enegis - Ambient Seismic Imaging Technology for Low Cost and Effective Geothermal Resource Exploration, Development, and Management
• Energetics Technology Center - CATHODE (CATHode scintillatOr Detector for Electrochemistry)
• Fervo Energy - SOLVE EGS: Surface Orbital Vibrator for Evaluation of Enhanced Geothermal Systems
• Frost Methane Labs - Design of Smart Micro-Flare Fleet to Mitigate Distributed Methane Emissions
• GaNify - High-Performance and Manufacturable Medium Voltage Power Diodes
• Gencores - Digital and Cost-Efficient Production of Hybrid Polymethacrylimide Foam Cores for Radical Lightweighting of Light-Duty Vehicles
• General Electric (GE) Global Research - Ultra-high-Performance nano-Liquid Insulation for upgrading Large Power Transformers (UPLIfT)
• General Electric (GE) Global Research - Megawatt Any-Altitude Gas Insulated Cable System for Aircraft Power Distribution (MAAGIC)
• General Electric (GE) Grid Solutions - Development of an Eco-friendly Outdoor HVAC Power Circuit Breaker to Reduce Dependence on SF6 Technology in the U.S. Electrical Grid
• Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) - Characterization and Recovery of Critical Metals from Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Ashes
• Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) - Development of an Advanced Ultrasonic Phased Array For The Characterization of Thick, Reinforced Concrete Components
• Georgia Tech Research Corporation - TESLA: Tough and Ecological Supercritical Line Breaker for AC
• Georgia Tech Research Corporation - Wind-Driven Direct Air Capture System Using 3D Printed, Passive, Amine-Loaded Contactors
• Giner - Direct Air Capture Utilizing Hydrogen-Assisted Carbonate Electrolysis
• Glass WRX SC - Industrial-scale Upcycling of Municipal Solid Waste Incinerator Ash into Engineered Cellular Magmatics
• Heirloom - A Transformative Low-Cost Approach for Direct Air Mineralization of CO2 via Repeated Cycles of Ambient Weathering of Metal Oxides
• HighT-Tech - Advanced Catalyst Manufacturing Enabled by Direct Joule Heating
• Hyper Tech Research - Power Transmission Cable for Electric Aircraft using Bio LNG for Cooling and Thermal Management
• HyperJet Fusion - Plasma Guns for Magnetized Fuel Targets for PJMIF
• Idaho National Laboratory (INL) - Next-Generation Metal Fuel
• Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) - Superconducting Momentary Circuit Interrupter: Fault Protection with Ultralow Loss and Ultrafast Response for Future Electric Aviation
• Impact Cooling - High Density Cooling System for Ultra-Low PUE Data Centers
• Inlyte Energy - The Salt and Iron Path to Renewables Integration
• InventWood - Wood Honeycombs for Lightweight, Energy Efficient Structural Applications
• Invizyne Technologies - Simplifying Reactor Setup for Cell-Free Biofuel Production
• Johns Hopkins University - Hydrocracking Plastic Mixtures into Xylene
• Johns Hopkins University - Electrothermal Conversion of Methane into Hydrogen and High-Value Carbon Fibers
• Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) - CARBON STANDARD: Carbon Accounting to Redefine Biofeedstock Operation Normality using Sensing Technology Assisted by Numerical and Data Analytics for Reliable Detection
• Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) - Quantifying Nuclear Reactions in Metal Hydrides at Low Energies
• Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) - A Portable Optical Thomson Scattering System
• Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) - Absolute Neutron Rate Measurement and Non-thermal/Thermonuclear Fusion Differentiation
• Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) - Next Generation High-temperature Optical Fibers
• Lectrolyst - Transformation of Carbon Emissions to High-Value Products through a Two-Step Electrochemical Platform
• Living Carbon - Increasing Carbon Drawdown and Retention in Terrestrial Biomass using Bioengineered Trees
• Lixivia - Using Bio-inspired Lixiviants to Selectively Extract Valuable Metals from Municipal Solid Waste Incinerator Ash
• Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) - Portable Neutron and Soft X-Ray Diagnostics for Transformative Fusion-Energy Concepts
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Neutron Emission from Laser-Stimulated Metal Hydrides
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Electrochemical Mining of MSWI Ash
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Electrochemically Modulated Co2 Removal from Ocean Waters
• Media and Process Technology (MPT) - Supercritical Fluid Based Wet Substrate Dewatering without Evaporation
• Metalx Biocycle - Synthetic Biology Approach to Critical Metal Extraction from Waste Electronic Components to Ensure a Robust Supply of Critical Materials for Clean Energy
• Michigan Technological University (MTU) - In-Situ Bioleaching of Manganese by Dissimilatory Reduction
• Micro Nano Technologies (MNT) - Thermally Driven Industrial Semi-Open Absorption Heat Pump Dryer
• MOgene Green Chemicals - Photosynthetic Microorganism-based Consortia to Capture Carbon and Build Soil Organic Matter
• Molten Industries - Biogas to Renewable Fuels via Thermal Reforming
• Mosaic Materials - Integration of Ultrahigh Capacity Sorbents into Direct Air Capture Systems
• National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) - Distributed Nuclear Reactor Core Monitoring with Single-crystal Harsh-environment Optical Fibers
• National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) - Multiscale Electricity Modeling for Evaluating Carbon Capture and Sequestration technologies (MEME-CCS)
• National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) - Advanced Locomotive Technology and Rail Infrastructure Optimization System (ALTRIOS)
• Nitricity - Non-Equilibrium Plasma for Energy-Efficient Nitrogen Fixation
• NoMIS Power Group - 6.5 kV, 100 A SiC Power Module Technology to Meet 21st Century Energy Demands
• Noon Energy - Rechargeable Carbon-oxygen Battery: A New Class of Ultra Low-cost, Lightweight Energy Storage Technology
• North Carolina State University (NC State) - A Data-driven Approach to High Precision Construction and Reduced Overnight Cost and Schedule
• North Carolina State University (NC State) - Multi-Decadal Decarbonization Pathways for U.S. Freight Rail
• Northwestern University - LOwering CO2: Models to Optimize Train Infrastructure, Vehicles, and Energy Storage (LOCOMOTIVES)
• Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) - A Portable Diagnostic Package For Spectroscopic Measurement of Key Plasma Parameters In Transformative Fusion Energy Devices
• OCOchem - High Aspect Ratio CO2 Reduction Electrolyzer via Novel Gas Diffusion Electrode - Design
• Oklahoma State University (OSU) - Establishing Validation Sites for Field-Level Emissions Quantification from Grain Sorghum in Southern Great Plains
• Oregon State University (OSU) - Development of Thermodynamic and Kinetic Simulation Tools and Testing Procedures For Enhanced Durability of Concrete Containing Industrial By-Products
• Origen Hydrogen - Engineering of Scalable Platinum-free Electrodes for Pure-Water AEM Water Electrolysis
• Osmoses - Efficient Recovery of Dilute Helium Gas Using Molecular Sieve Membranes
• Otherlab - SeaSTAR: Selective Thalassic Ambulatory Retriever
• Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) - UNrealized Critical Lanthanide Extraction via Sea Algae Mining (UNCLE-SAM): Domestic production of critical minerals from seawater
• Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) - Synthesis of Consists as Rolling Energy micro-grids (SCORE)
• Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) - Cryogenic Solid-state Circuit Breaker
• pH Matter - Type V Vessel-Aided Electrochemical Compression for Ultra-High Pressure Electrolysis
• Phoenix Tailings - Novel Technique for Domestic Rare Earth Oxide Separation and Rare Earth Metal Reduction
• Phytodetectors - Functional Engineering of a Photosynthetic Desalination Pump Circuit
• Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) - A Portable Ion-Energy Diagnostic for Transformative ARPA-E Fusion Energy R&D
• Princeton University - Electricity System Capacity Expansion and Operational Modeling for Evaluation and Optimization of Flexible Carbon Capture and Sequestration Systems
• Raytheon Technologies Research Center - Multi-Material Topology Optimization for High Performance Heat Exchangers
• Rutgers University - Waste-to-Energy (WTE)-Derived Low-Carbon-Footprint Concrete (LCFC)
• Sequoia Scientific - Real-time, In-situ Sensing of Sediment Properties for Environmental Monitoring of Deep-Sea Polymetallic Nodule Mining Real-time, In-situ Sensing of Sediment Properties for Environmental Monitoring of Deep-Sea Polymetallic Nodule Mining
• Siemens - Multi-Physics Topology Optimization for Dual Flow Heat Exchangers
• SiTration - Low-Cost Recycling of Lithium from Batteries via Conductive Membrane Nanofiltration
• Southern Research Institute - Machine Learning for Automated Maintenance of Future MSR
• Stanford University - Nuclear Product Detection from Deuterated Nanoparticles under Phonon Stimulation
• Stanford University - Co-Synthesis of Hydrogen and High-Value Carbon Products from Methane Pyrolysis
• Stoicheia - Discovery Platform for Low-Ir Anode Catalysts in PEM Electrolyzers
• Sublime Systems - Electrochemical Synthesis of Low-Carbon Cement
• Sylvatex - Breakthrough Process to Manufacture Very Low-cost LFP Cathode for Li-ion Batteries
• Texas Tech University - Advanced Materials Characterization and Nuclear Product Detection for LENR
• The Boeing Company - Multidisciplinary Topology Optimization of Extreme Environment Heat Exchangers
• The City College of New York - Gypsum & Clay-Based Additives to MSW for Pre-Combustion Enhancement of Syngas and Solid Residue Improvement
• Toshiba International - Novel Approaches Toward Improved Thermal Interruption Performance of CO2+O2 Natural Origin Gas Mixtures for Replacement of SF6 in High Voltage Equipment
• Tufts University - Living Filter Design for High-throughput, Low-cost Recovery of Critical Materials
• UHV Technologies - Highly Efficient Vacuum Smelting of Aluminum
• Ultra-low Loss Technologies - Space Division Multiplexing with Multi-Core Fiber for Energy Efficient Integrated Photonic Networking Technologies
• Ultrasonic Technology Solutions - Extremely Fast and Efficient Direct Contact Ultrasonic Drying for Roll To Roll Manufacturing
• University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) - Ligand Facilitated Bioaccumulation: Biomining of Rare Earth and Other Critical Metals from Electronic Wastes
• University of California, Davis (UC Davis) - Electron Density Profile Measurements Using USPR
• University of California, Davis (UC Davis) - Carbon-Negative Buildings Assessment and Tool (CaNBAT)
• University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Low-Temperature Architected Cementation Agents (LAMINAE)
• University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) - Extremely Durable and Low-Cost Concrete: Ultralow Binder Content and Ultrahigh Tensile Ductility
• University of Colorado, Boulder (CU-Boulder) - Geopolymer Cements: Resistance-Engineered Sewer Infrastructure For Longevity Using Innovative, Energy-Efficient, Synthesis Techniques (RESILIENT)
• University of Connecticut - Detection and Fixation - A Lifecycle-management Framework Towards an SF6-Free Green Power Network
• University of Connecticut - Topology Optimization Of Additively Manufactured Heat-Exchanger Plates For Enhanced Performance (TOP-HEX)
• University of Florida - Boron Concrete For Active Formation of Lithium As Mitigation of Neutron-Induced Expansion and Passive Neutron Absorption
• University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) - Rapid AI-based Dissection of Ashes using Raman and XRF Spectroscopy (RADAR-X)
• University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) - Midwest Bioenergy Crop Landscape Laboratory (MBC-Lab): Capturing Spatio-temporal and Managerial Variations to Provide a Gold Standard Data and Platform for Validating Field-level Emission from Bioenergy Crops
• University of Kentucky - Belite Cement, and Concretes; Novel Low-Energy Approaches To Making Concrete Extremely Durable
• University of Michigan - Ionizing Radiation Detection for Exploratory Experiments In Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions
• University of Michigan - Electrochemical Direct Air Capture of CO2 Using Redox-Active Textiles
• University of Michigan - Systematic Evaluation of Claims Of Excess Heat Generation Form Deuteration Of Palladium-Nickel Nanocomposites
• University of Michigan - Development of an Extremely Durable Concrete (EDC) - A Novel Approach Coupling Chemistry and Autogenous Crack Width Control
• University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL) - Extrapolation Domains for Aggregating Environmental Outcomes from Local to Regional Levels
• University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL) - Novel Commercial Farm-field Network to Quantify Emissions and Carbon Storage from Agricultural Bioenergy Feedstock Production
• University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (UND-EERC) - Hydrolytic Softening of Ocean Water for Carbon Dioxide Removal
• University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics - LLE Diagnostic Resource Team for the Advancement of Innovative Fusion Concepts
• University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT) - Ultra-Light Tightly-Integrated Modular Aviation-Transportation Enabling Solid-State Circuit Breaker (ULTIMATE-SSCB)
• University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) - Nanotechnology-Enabled Transformer Life Extension
• University of Utah - Self-Sustaining Cementitious Systems in Roman Reactive Glass Concretes
• University of Washington (UW) - Parametric Open Data for Life Cycle Assessment
• University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) - Multi-Physics Topology Optimization and Additive Manufacturing for High-Temperature Heat Exchangers
• Verdox - Electro-swing Adsorption for High Efficiency Direct Air Capture
• Verne - Decoupling High-Density Hydrogen from the Liquid Hydrogen Infrastructure: Catalyst-Filled Heat Exchangers for Modular Cryo-Compressors
• Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) - Physical, Chemical, and Mineralogical Characterizations of MSWI Ash Product and Recommendations for Downstream Processing
• Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) - High Power Density Cost-Effective MV DC Aircraft Cable
• Washington State University (WSU) - Biopolymer Modified Cementitious Systems with Radically Superior Strength and Durability
• Western Research Institute - Polymer/Oil Co-processing to Yield Liquid Products (MEME-CCS)
• XFlow Energy - Low-Cost Wind Energy Through Dense VAWT Arrays: Fatigue Loads and Power Performance Risk Mitigation
• Zephyr Innovations - Air Conditioning via Liquid Desiccant Dehumidification