Internal Deadline: Tuesday, December 5, 2023, 5pm PT
LOI: December 15, 2023 (optional)
External Deadline: February 16, 2024, 11:59pm ET
Award Type: Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: 9
Anticipated Award Amount: Award Ceiling is $6,500,000; award floor is $450,000.
Link to Award: https://www.grants.gov/search-results-detail/351034
Process for Limited Submissions
PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Research Initiatives and Infrastructure (RII) Application Portal: https://rii.usc.edu/oor-portal/. Use the template provided here: RII Limited Submission Applicant Template
Materials to submit include:
- (1) Two-Page Proposal Summary (1” margins; single-spaced; standard font type, e.g. Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt). Page limit includes references and illustrations. Pages that exceed the 2-page limit will be excluded from review. You must use the template linked above.
- (2) CV – (5 pages maximum)
Note: The portal requires information about the PIs in addition to department and contact information, including the 10-digit USC ID#, Gender, and Ethnicity. Please have this material prepared before beginning this application.
This NOFO announces the availability of funds and solicits applications from eligible entities to develop projects for hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) reclamation and innovative destruction technologies. Section 60109 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provided the EPA with $15 million for competitive grants for “reclaim and innovative destruction technologies” consistent with subsections (a) through (i) and subsection (k) of section 103 division S of Public Law 116-260 (42 U.S.C. 7675) (also known as the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act). Enacted in 2020, the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act authorizes the EPA to address climate-damaging greenhouse gases (GHGs) called HFCs by: phasing down their production and consumption, maximizing reclamation and minimizing releases from equipment, and facilitating the transition to next-generation technologies through sector-based restrictions on HFCs. HFCs are potent GHGs commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, as well as foams and many other applications. A global phasedown of HFCs is expected to avoid up to 0.5°C of global warming by 2100. There are hundreds of possible HFC compounds. The 18 HFCs listed as regulated substances by the AIM Act are some of the most commonly used HFCs and have high impacts as measured by the quantity emitted multiplied by their respective global warming potentials (GWPs). For more information on the AIM Act and its implementing regulations, please visit https://www.epa.gov/climate-hfcs-reduction.
The IRA sets aside 5% of the $15 million for administrative purposes; therefore, $14.25 million is available for competitive grants under this opportunity. The EPA anticipates approximately four to nine awards under this opportunity with funding ranging from $450,000 to $5 million, depending on the type of project and subject to the availability of funds, the quality of proposals received, and other applicable considerations. For grants under the technology project areas (1 and 3, described below), the EPA expects to make awards in the range of $3-5 million; for grants under the market dynamics project area (2 below), the EPA expects to make awards in the range of $450,000 to $1.5 million. This opportunity has set aside $1.5 million for federally recognized tribes. The EPA anticipates that the competition under this NOFO will award all the competitive funding under Section 60109 of the IRA.
“Reclaim” is defined in 40 CFR 84.3 as the reprocessing of regulated substances (used interchangeably with “HFCs” in this NOFO) to specifications in appendix A of 40 CFR part 82, subpart F that are applicable to that regulated substance. Reclamation refers to the reprocessing of a recovered regulated substance to meet at least the purity described in Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) standard AHRI 700–2016 (or an appropriate successor standard adopted by the Administrator); the purity of the reclaimed regulated substances must be verified using, at a minimum, the analytical method described in that standard. Reclaimed HFCs help reduce the need for new HFCs and support a smooth transition as HFCs are phased down under the AIM Act.
“Destruction” is defined in 40 CFR 84.3 as the expiration of a regulated substance to the destruction and removal efficiency actually achieved. Such destruction might result in a commercially useful end product, but such usefulness would be secondary to the act of destruction. As part of these competitive grants, the EPA will only fund projects that advance or innovatively deploy the technologies listed in 40 CFR 84.29.
There are three broad categories of destruction technologies listed in 40 CFR 84.29: thermal oxidation (incineration), plasma, and conversion (other, non-incineration) technologies. As finalized in an October 2021 rule (“Phasedown of Hydrofluorocarbons: Establishing the Allowance Allocation and Trading Program under the AIM Act” (86 FR 5516)), there are two lists of destruction technologies: one for HFCs other than HFC-23 and one for all HFCs including HFC-23.
The following twelve destruction technologies are approved by the EPA for destruction of all regulated substances except for HFC-23:
- Incineration (6 technologies): Cement kilns, gaseous/fume oxidation, liquid injection incineration, porous thermal reactor, reactor cracking, and rotary kiln incineration.
- Plasma (3): Argon plasma arc, nitrogen plasma arc, and portable plasma arc.
- Conversion (3): Chemical reaction with hydrogen (H2) and carbon dioxide (CO2), gas phase catalytic de-halogenation, and superheated steam reactor.
The following eight technologies are approved by the EPA for the destruction of HFC-23:
- Incineration (4): Gaseous/fume oxidation, liquid injection incineration, reactor cracking, and rotary kiln incineration.
- Plasma (2): Argon plasma arc and nitrogen plasma arc.
- Conversion (2): Chemical reaction with H2 and CO2 and superheated steam reactor.
These technologies are capable of either destroying HFCs at a destruction removal efficiency of at least 99.99 percent or converting them into non-regulated substances. Innovative technologies are those that demonstrate efficacy in destroying HFCs and are not yet widely available, particularly in the United States (U.S.) (e.g., chemical conversion or portable plasma arc).
Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for more updates and other announcements.