RFI on Manufacturing Carbon Negative Materials to Reduce Embodied Emissions in Buildings
Request for Information (RFI): Manufacturing Carbon Negative Materials to Reduce Embodied Emissions in Buildings This is a Request for Information (RFI) only. This RFI is not soliciting application for financial assistance. The purpose of this RFI is solely to solicit input for ARPA-E consideration to inform the possible formulation of future programs. The purpose of this RFI is to solicit input for a potential future ARPA-E research program focused on technologies that could enable buildings to be transformed into carbon sinks to reduce their embodied emissions while also providing a pathway for expanding carbon utilization approaches. This vision entails manufacturing novel materials derived from feedstocks including forestry and other purpose-grown raw materials, agricultural residues, as well as direct use of greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide, methane). The aim is to use these materials in place of existing building construction materials wherever possible, as well as to enable more efficient building designs. Attaining this vision requires a radical departure from the use of modern building materials, and likely from the conventional manufacturing methods for building materials. At the same time, operational energy performance and the structural and fireproof code requirements of the buildings themselves must not be sacrificed. Comprehensive and robust life-cycle analyses and carbon accounting, along with permanency of storage and end-of-life design, will also be necessary. For these reasons, ARPA-E is especially interested in perspectives from both inside and outside the buildings sector community. Many of today’s buildings consist of steel, concrete, stone, brick and masonry materials. Their continued use is challenged by the energy intensive nature of their processing and manufacture. These manufacturing approaches can be particularly difficult to decarbonize. Wood, another common construction material, has seen a resurgence in interest with engineered woods and mass timber opening new possibilities due, in part, to their ability to store carbon. Land usage, transportation, and environmental impacts of adhesives used in engineered wood and mass timber production must be considered, however, for widespread adoption and to offset associated emissions. Additional pathways for increasing carbon storage content of the building stock, as well as exploring alternative materials with additional drawdown capabilities using greenhouse gas-based feedstocks will require advancements in materials and processing-to-scale. The nascency of these alternative materials pose an additional challenge for implementation in the risk-averse construction industry. To view the RFI in its entirety, please visit https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov. The information you provide may be used by ARPA-E in support of program planning. THIS IS A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ONLY. THIS NOTICE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A FUNDING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT (FOA). NO FOA EXISTS AT THIS TIME.