Seed Grant: Advanced Scalable Clean Aluminum Melting Systems

  • Das, Subodh (PI)
  • Khraisheh, Marwan (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


In 2004, The US Department of Energy awarded Secat, Inc. and its collaborators a project entitled "Advanced Scalable Clean Aluminum Melting Systems", award number DE-FC36-04G014257. The focus of the project was on the development of technologies that will enable significant reduction in the energy consumption and environmental impacts of melting aluminum through substitution of immersion heating for the conventional radiant burner methods used in reverberatory furnaces. The University of Kentucky played a key role in formulating the proposal and was responsible for the development and validation of fundamental models required for successful implementation and optimization of the proposed novel technology. However, due to funding cut backs at the US Department of Energy, this project has been delayed. In a recent report published by the US Department of Energy (FY2005 Metal Casting Portfolio Review, September 2005), the significance and potential of the project were highlighted and recommendation for funding, when funds become available, was made. The reviewers ranked the project among the top five of the 22 projects recommended for funding. The goal ofthis proposed seed funding is to allow UK to continue the work on this important project. In particular, UK will start developing the fundamental models of fluid flow and heat transfer in collaboration with Secat Inc., national laboratories partners (Oak Ridge National Lab and Albany Research Center) and the industrial partners (SecofWarwick, Amcast, Trace Die Casting, Hydro Aluminum North America, Aleris International, Inc., Logan Aluminum, and Wise Alloys). In addition, the proposed seed funding will enable UK and its partners to seek additional funding !fom DOE either on the existing project or through a new solicitation. The proposed research program will couple heater improvements with furnace modeling that will enable cost-effective retrofits to a range of existing furnace sizes, reducing the economic barrier to application. This program is directly relevant to the aluminum industry since melting represents 55% of the energy used in the industry. Furthermore, the proposed project directly addresses the recommendations of the 2005 Comprehensive Energy Strategy for Kentucky, in particular to Energy Efficiency and Energy Future. Recommendation 6 encourages close collaboration between the Commonwealth, Kentucky universities, industries and communities to develop and promote energy-efficient tools and practices. Recommendation 7 calls on the Commonwealth to support energy assessment initiatives that will help our industries and businesses improve their profitability through energy efficiency and resource management. In addition, the proposed seed funding will assist UK and its Kentucky industrial partners to leverage available federal energy research and development resources as stated in Recommendation 50.
Effective start/end date1/1/0611/30/07


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