The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced nearly $6 billion in funding aimed at reducing emissions in energy-intensive industries including iron and steel, aluminum, cement, concrete, chemicals, food and beverages, and pulp and paper. According to the DOE, the funding is estimated to reduce over 14 million metric tons of emissions annually.

Along with the announcement, 33 project selections were identified. Some of the selected projects involve ISRI members (material) including: Wieland North America (copper), Real Alloy (aluminum), Constellium (aluminum), BASF (chemicals), Cleveland Cliffs/ Ferrous Processing & Trading Co (steel, 2), and International Paper (paper).

“Decarbonization efforts can’t happen without recycling,” said ISRI Chief Lobbyist Billy Johnson. “Infrastructure, manufacturing — it all relies on recycled materials. It always has.”

According to the funding announcement, the projects are part of the Biden administration’s efforts to reduce industrial decarbonization, strengthen domestic manufacturing and slash planet warming emissions. Industrial decarbonization is defined by the DOE as the phasing out of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the industrial sector. The DOE has noted that the U.S. industrial sector is considered a “difficult-to-decarbonize” sector of the energy economy, in part because of the diversity of energy inputs and wide array of industrial processes and operations.

The selected projects propose a variety of methods to help cut carbon, which include recycling metals, installing carbon capture technology, reducing coal-powered production, energy efficiency and electrification. Money for the projects is allocated from the Inflation Reduction Act ($5.47 billion) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law ($489 million).

“Spurring on the next generation of decarbonization technologies in key industries like steel, paper, concrete, and glass will keep America the most competitive nation on Earth,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Thanks to President Biden’s industrial strategy, DOE is making the largest investment in industrial decarbonization in the history of the United States. These investments will slash emissions from these difficult-to-decarbonize sectors and ensure American businesses and American workers remain at the forefront of the global economy.”

Arnulfo Moreno

Arnulfo Moreno

Arnulfo Moreno is a Communications Manager at ISRI. He is fascinated by the innovation and sustainability found in the recycling industry. He graduated from The Catholic University of America where he majored in Media Studies and minored in Spanish. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with his collection of short stories he hopes to one day finish writing.