Leaders of the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing Institute — a part of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and one of the nation’s 14 Manufacturing USA Institutes — are calling for stakeholders in industry, academia, and government laboratories to submit proposals for early-stage research and development projects that apply process intensification and modular chemical processing to solve industrial challenges. The collaborative projects will apply these technologies and principles to reduce costs in energy-intensive manufacturing sectors including chemicals, oil and gas, pulp and paper-making, and other industries.
Karen Fletcher, chief executive officer of RAPID, said that the efficiencies these projects can realize will boost the competitiveness of U.S.-based companies and protect jobs. “We also are committed to training and developing the workforce as these technologies are deployed,” she added.
The RAPID Institute’s call for proposals extends until September 18, 2017. Proposals must align with one or more of the six RAPID focus areas: chemical and commodity processing; renewable feedstock processes; natural gas upgrading; modeling and simulation; process intensification fundamentals; or modular manufacturing. The proposal process is open to all interested parties, but applicants must be RAPID Institute members to be eligible to accept an award, if selected.
Process intensification employs engineering principles to create industrial manufacturing processes that are more resource- and energy-efficient, cleaner, and inherently safer than traditional processes. Modular chemical processing offers opportunities for improved efficiency and productivity by developing the techniques and supply chain components required for “scaling-out” process technologies in lieu of the classical approaches to “scaling up.”
Proposals will be considered based on metrics including, but not limited to, their alignment with key process intensification and modular chemical process intensification objectives identified by RAPID; the technical merits of the project, including opportunities to advance the scientific knowledge or technology in one or more application areas; and the level of pledged industrial support as demonstrated by cost sharing commitments.
Additional information about the RAPID Manufacturing Institute and the proposal review process can be found at www.aiche.org/RAPID/call-rapid-proposals.
AIChE, founded in 1908, is a professional society of more than 53,000 chemical engineers in 110 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government, using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontiers of chemical engineering research in such areas as energy, sustainability, biological and environmental engineering, nanotechnology, and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at www.aiche.org.
On December 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the establishment of the tenth Manufacturing USA Institute, the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Institute. Leveraging $70 million in federal funding and more than $70 million in cost-share commitments from partners, RAPID is focused on developing breakthrough process-related technologies to boost energy productivity and energy efficiency by 20 percent in five years. RAPID will leverage approaches to process intensification and modular process design used in a variety of energy-intensive industries. In the chemical industry alone, these technologies have the potential to save more than $9 billion annually. For further information, visit www.aiche.org/RAPID.