Slippery Coatings to Promote Energy Conversion



Program:
OPEN 2012
Award:
$5,701,998
Location:
Cambridge,
Massachusetts
Status:
ALUMNI
Project Term:
04/26/2013 - 09/07/2019

Critical Need:

Energy-efficient performance of coatings is critical in nearly every aspect of the modern economy, including but not limited to: oil and water transport, district cooling/heating systems, refrigeration, and waste water treatment/water circulation systems. For example, friction from rough surfaces, corrosion, and/or build-up of contaminants results in energy waste in many different applications. There is a need to improve the energy efficiency of these energy-intensive infrastructures.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Adaptive Surface Technologies is developing a slippery coating that can be used for a number of technology applications including oil and water pipelines, wastewater treatment systems, solar panels (to prevent dust accumulation), refrigeration (to prevent ice buildup), as well as many other energy-relevant applications. Contamination, build-up of microorganisms, and corrosion of untreated surfaces can lead to inefficiencies in the system. Adaptive Surface Technologies’ liquid-based coating is tailored to adhere to and then spread out evenly over a rough surface, forming a completely smooth surface that inhibits buildup. Since it is liquid-based, it can easily repair itself if scratched or damaged, resulting in a stable coating with the potential to significantly outperform conventional technologies, such as Teflon, in friction and drag reduction and in repelling a broad range of contaminants.

Potential Impact:

If successful, Adaptive Surface Technologies’ slippery, liquid-based, self-repairing coatings would benefit a number of applications that would result in energy savings and increased efficiencies in various energy-intensive applications. An illustrative example is the application of the coating to pipelines, with impacts detailed below.

Security:

Improving the energy efficiency in fluid transport processes can help the U.S. maintain its technological leadership in the liquid transportation market that currently is greater than $10 billion.

Environment:

Enhancing fluid transport energy efficiency by 50% could potentially have an energy savings greater than 400 trillion BTU/year.

Economy:

Improving system inefficiencies by reducing contamination and build-up could significantly reduce energy consumption and increase functional efficiency of these energy-intensive industrial sectors.

Contact

ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Joseph King
Project Contact:
Philseok Kim
Press and General Inquiries Email:
ARPA-E-Comms@hq.doe.gov
Project Contact Email:
phil@adaptivesurface.tech

Partners

Harvard University
Pennsylvania State University

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Release Date:
11/28/2012