Request for Information (RFI) - Securing New Sources of Helium for Advanced Energy Applications

Active
No
Status
Posted
Published Date
January 31st, 2024
Close Date
March 15th, 2024
Total Funding
$0.00
Award Ceiling
$0.00
Award Floor
$0.00
Expected No. Awards
0
Opportunity No.
DE-FOA-0003306

Agency

Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy (DOE-ARPAE)

Eligible Applicants

Unrestricted

Funding Category

Science and Technology and other Research and Development

Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement

Opportunity Category

Discretionary

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement

Yes

Additional Information

https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov

Summary

The Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy (ARPA-E) is seeking input for a potential program focused on securing new sources of helium for advanced energy applications. The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to gather ideas for innovative technologies that can decrease the cost of helium production and ensure its availability for next-generation energy technologies. Specifically, ARPA-E is interested in concepts that can develop mapping technologies to locate new helium sources and produce helium using advanced separation technologies. Helium is crucial for various energy-related technologies such as semiconductor manufacturing, fiber optics, quantum computing, and reactor cooling. The United States currently uses approximately 45 million cubic meters of helium annually, with 50% dedicated to industrial and scientific purposes related to energy. However, the U.S. has seen a decline in its global helium production share, and a helium shortfall of 70 million-110 million cubic meters is anticipated by 2040. To maintain technological leadership in energy innovation, it is essential to secure a robust domestic supply of helium. The RFI is not seeking applications for financial assistance at this time, but aims to gather information to inform the possible formulation of future programs. For more details, please visit the ARPA-E eXCHANGE website. Responses to this RFI should be submitted in PDF format to ARPA-E-RFI@hq.doe.gov by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on March 15, 2024.

Description

This is a Request for Information (RFI) only. This RFI is not accepting applications for financial assistance. The purpose of this RFI is solely to solicit input for ARPA-E consideration to inform the possible formulation of future programs. The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to solicit input for a potential ARPA-E program focused on identifying transformative technologies across the helium-4 (“helium”) supply chain to decrease the delivered cost of helium from processes not dependent on natural gas production. ARPA-E is seeking information regarding alternative methods to safeguard future helium production in the United States and ensure helium availability for next-generation energy technologies. Specifically, ARPA-E is interested in identifying potentially disruptive concepts to: 1) develop innovative mapping technologies to locate new helium sources; and 2) produce helium using advanced separation technologies designed for novel sources and/or the enhancement of helium recovery and recycling. Helium is critical to many energy-related technologies, including semiconductor and fiber optics manufacturing, quantum computing, neutron detection, fission and fusion reactor cooling, and leak detection and analysis in gas processing facilities. The U.S. uses about 45 million cubic meters (m3) of helium annually. Approximately 50% of domestic helium usage is dedicated to industrial and scientific purposes related to energy. Historically, the U.S. has been a major producer of helium, but its share of global production has fallen sharply in recent decades. A global helium shortfall of 70 million-110 million m3 is anticipated by 2040, barring the successful construction of several large helium plants in geopolitically unstable regions of the world. Rising demand for semiconductors due to increased electrification, as well as expanded uses of superconductors for advanced energy technologies, will likely result in the need for future helium imports. Thus, securing a robust domestic supply of helium is essential to ensure the U.S. maintains technological leadership in developing and deploying innovative energy technologies. To view the RFI in its entirety, please visit https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov.

Contact Information

Attachments
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Opportunity Lifecycle

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Type
Grant