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DOE to Invest $45 Million in Carbon Storage Technologies for Building Materials

DOE to Invest $45 Million in Carbon Storage Technologies for Building Materials

The U.S. Department of Energy is investing $45 million to develop technologies that will turn buildings into net carbon storage structures. Carbon storing materials are usually expensive and scarce. DOE plans to address these challenges by creating materials that can be more easily used to increase the number of carbon-storing buildings. The initiative is in line with President Biden’s goal of reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century.
$41 million will go towards the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Harnessing Emissions into Structures Taking Inputs from the Atmosphere (HESTIA) program aimed at creating net carbon negative building materials. The additional $4 million will be used by DOE to create a building  analysis tool that can calculate the net carbon negativity over the lifespan of a building or structure.
The HESTIA program was released on November 8, 2021. Program metrics include:
  • Storage of more carbon in the chemical structure of the finished product than emitted during manufacture and/or use
  • Relevant performance testing (e.g., flammability, strength) per building code and incumbent specifications
  • Market advantage (e.g., improved material performance in at least one area, lower cost, or easier installation) over the best-in-class incumbent building element
  • Sufficient retention of carbon storage over service lifetime and minimized end-of-life emissions where possible by designing for reuse, repurposing, and/or recycling 
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