Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
January 28, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Bridgestone Americas awarded nearly $9.3 million in federal funding

The project, one of the largest announced, is designed to reduce industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and accelerate the development of innovative decarbonization technologies.

Two Volunteer State entities are participants in two of the 49 projects that were awarded a total of $171 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to reduce industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and accelerate the development of innovative decarbonization technologies.

  • Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC in Nashville received one of the largest awards – $9,284,066 – for a project with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The effort will demonstrate an ethanol to butadiene (EBT) process enabled by a novel catalyst developed by PNNL where end-of-use tires can be turned into ethanol to produce butadiene, which can then be used to make new tires.
  • The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is one of several partners in a $1,450,000 award to the University of California, Riverside for a project designed to optimize Co-solvent Enhanced Lignocellulosic Fractionation (CELF) technology into a more environmentally sustainable alternative to traditional kraft pulping. CELF is a previously developed low-cost mild-severity solvent-based pretreatment method. Specifically, the project focuses on optimizing the production of dissolving pulp used in the manufacturing of extruded textile fibers. CELF utilizes an aqueous co-solvent that will be combined with an oxygen delignification process for elemental chlorine-free pulp production.

DOE’s announcement noted that the projects come from 21 states. Sixteen will be led by private industry, 22 by academic institutions, three by non-profit organizations, and eight by national laboratories. In addition, DOE also announced that applications are open for an $83 million funding opportunity to decrease emissions from hard-to-decarbonize industrial sectors, which represent roughly 30 percent of total U.S. carbon emissions.


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