Managing Director and Knowledge Transfer Director Element Aero and the Center for Bright Beams, Illinois, United States
Sandra G. Biedron (EA/CBB), Mark Peters (Battelle), Robert Rosner (University of Chicago), John L. Sarrao (Los Alamos National Laboratory).
We discuss collaboration opportunities and forward-looking disruptive technology pathways to help decarbonize the electronics design and manufacturing supply chain.
One available collaboration suite of partners includes the 17 Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories that themselves stemmed from the disruptive Atomic Age 80 years ago this year with the first sustained nuclear reaction.
It is not only the “widget” technologies that are launched from these entities and their partners that can help industry innovate to zero emissions and full decarbonization, but also the resources available – both human as well as equipment/facilities can be of great service. In fact, the DOE Labs also have their own net-zero initiatives.
Renewable and sustainable energy sources abound. Translating them to deployment at scale is both an opportunity and a challenge. Test bed and demonstration projects help reveal successes and highlight where further innovation is required.
Small modular reactors (SMRs) and related technologies such as the recent Kilopower demonstration intended for space missions, concepts developed by Idaho National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory, among others are one class of solutions. These reactors, which will be scalable from as small as kW-class to tens of megawatts up to hundreds of megawatts, could be envisioned as being inserted as the primary power source for everything from R&D facilities to full-scale manufacturing plants.
Further, through extensive system models, including those simulated on DOE high-performance computing systems with intelligent processes on the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, we envision partnerships to architect efficient and energy neutral manufacturing facilities.
Related developments include all-electric methods of processing contaminated waste streams, driven by compact and efficient particle accelerators. We can therefore further look to nuclear energy for all-electric near closed loop plant drivers.
From an ethics perspective, the technologies developed through investments over the last 80+ years should be inserted into this industry as well as leading analytical tools made available to this industry.
With these technologies, deployed through an integrated all-of-the-above strategy, closed loop, all-electric zero-emission energy solutions are achievable.