Arizona State University picked to establish clean energy institute

May 19, 2023, 7:24 AM | Updated: 7:26 am

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — The U.S. Department of Energy announced this week that Arizona State University will receive federal funding to develop a Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

ASU will be allocated up to $70 million over the next five years for research, development and projects to help decarbonize the industrial sector.

The university will lead a multi-institution coalition called Electrified Processes for Industry Without Carbon, or EPIXC.

“Achieving the nation’s climate goals will require an all-hands-on-deck, multidimensional approach to eliminating industrial emissions,” Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alejandro Moreno said in a press release.

“Our newest institute, EPIXC, will focus on one of the key pillars of industrial decarbonization — electrification — to dramatically slash emissions while helping to strengthen and secure America’s leadership in the global clean energy economy.”

The department said the industrial sector is responsible for more than 30% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The initiative will address fuel-driven process heating, which ASU’s Sridhar Seetharaman — the vice dean for research and innovation in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the director of EPIXC — said is the most significant element of the sector’s emissions.

“Additionally, this is part of society’s broader transition to clean energy, and we need to look at the social justice aspects of what we are doing,” Seetharaman said in an ASU press release.

DOE’s goal is to reduce emissions by transitioning to electrified and low-carbon fuel and energy sources.

EPIXC will engage with disadvantaged communities in Arizona to train clean energy workforces, according to DOE.

“Our current energy landscape positioned petrochemical plants in an unjust way,” Seetharaman said. “Certain communities suffered health consequences from their proximity, and they continue to suffer from them. As we move forward with the new energy landscape, we need to make it happen in a truly just manner.”

EPIXC is the seventh of the department’s Manufacturing USA institutes.

Partners include University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Tuskegee University and Navajo Technical University.

Funding comes from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office.

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Arizona State University picked to establish clean energy institute