WASHINGTON, D. C. – A Cleveland company that produces a third of the nation’s automotive steel will partner with the U.S. government to test new water efficiency technologies designed to help manufacturers reduce their carbon footprint.
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur announced the partnership Friday between Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.
“We are going to help invent the future,” Kaptur declared. “This is the beginning of a new industry.”
Cleveland-Cliffs was one of five companies the Department of Energy selected to each receive roughly $300,000 in federal technological assistance to test new energy efficiency technologies in real-world industrial environments. DOE will pay for experts led by the U.S. National Laboratories to examine how well the technologies work and make their reports publicly available for researchers devising future ways to save energy.
“We know that the global market for clean technologies is going to reach at least $23 trillion by the end of this decade, and President Biden wants America to corner it,” Granholm said in an online news conference. “We have an opportunity to revitalize American manufacturing, to create good paying union jobs for Americans to build these technologies.”
Cleveland-Cliffs Vice President Patrick Bloom said his company, which is North America’s largest producer of flat rolled steel and iron ore pellets, will test two water technologies. One will evaluate electrochemical water treatment technology of cooling towers for increased water energy savings, and the other focuses on using electrochemical reactions instead of traditional chemicals to treat wastewater. He said the work will start this August.
“Cleveland-Cliffs looks forward to deepening its partnership with the Department of Energy, with an eye toward development of breakthrough technologies that will support the next century of steelmaking in the United States,” said Bloom, adding that the company will likely play a key role as Biden pursues modernizing the electrical grid and electrifying the nation’s vehicles because it is North America’s sole producer of electrical steels.
Other companies participating in the Department of Energy program are South Carolina’s Schneider Electric, which makes motor control centers, Wisconsin’s Ahlstrom-Munksjo, which makes fiber products like tea bags and face masks, and Mississippi auto plants run by Nissan and Toyota.
All the projects will be led by DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, part of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which invests in manufacturers, not-for-profit entities, research organizations, and institutions of higher education to develop cutting edge technologies to help domestic manufacturing reach a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and to create new energy economy jobs. The DOE says the industrial sector contributed 23% of all greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.
“All of this work is going to make a massive difference in tackling climate change,” said Granholm.
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