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DOE Awards Dow Chemical $2.9 M for Insulation Solutions

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded The Dow Chemical Company $2,955,156 to develop the next generation of advanced insulation for high-performance, energy-efficient wall, roof, and foundation insulation systems.

The funding was awarded specifically to Dow Building Solutions, a business within Dow's Building and Construction business group. It was granted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, with the research expected to lead to the creation of higher performing insulation solutions with a lower carbon footprint and ease-of-use for builders.

“This is great recognition for Dow’s focus on efficiency, and our drive to develop technologies that provide building solutions with easy installation and even greater energy savings,” commented Torsten Kraef, business group vice president for Dow Building and Construction business.

These improved insulating building envelope systems will be designed to cost effectively meet current and future energy conservation needs and building code requirements. The company has pledged $2.9 million of additional funding to match the DOE grant.

Typically the building envelope accounts for greater than 40 percent of the overall energy use in the United States, half of which is lost through the walls, roofs, and foundations. This new insulation will offer up to 50 percent thermal insulation performance improvement over typical insulation sheathings, resulting in a significant reduction of energy losses in both residential and commercial applications. Additionally, it is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, avoid production of volatile organic compounds and have a negligible contribution to global warming.

On June 21, the company hosted Vice President Joe Biden at its corporate headquarters in Midland, Mich., where company officials showcased several green tech initiatives that address global needs for alternative energy production and energy storage.

These initiatives, which have benefited from $750 million in federal stimulus and state economic incentives, are leading to breakthrough technologies, new manufacturing facilities and thousands of well-paying jobs, according to a Dow press release.

Among the projects highlighted were the POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingles, breakthrough diesel particulate filters and energy efficiency and insulation solutions.

Biden’s visit to Midland coincided with a groundbreaking ceremony for a new manufacturing facility that will produce lithium-ion battery packs for next-generation hybrid and electric vehicles.

The plant, being built by Dow Kokam, a joint venture between Dow and TK Advanced Battery, LLC, will employ more than 800 people and have the capacity to manufacture 1.2 billion watt hours of large format affordable lithium-ion batteries.

“We’re 'rebooting' the American manufacturing base right here in Midland, Michigan, and redefining what it means to say 'built in the U.S.A.,'” said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow chair and chief executive officer. “All of these green tech programs show the great results that can be achieved when government and industry work together toward a common goal. We’re confident technological innovation, job creation, and sustained economic growth like this can take place all over the U.S. if we address head-on the major issues that are limiting a robust resurgence of U.S. manufacturing activity.”

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