A new arm of the US DOE on Monday announced a $6bn federal funding package for the decarbonisation of 33 industrial projects across 20 states.

The funding, which will go through the DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, is being implemented under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as part of the government’s national net-zero plans – $5.47bn of the total funds will come from the IRA.

According to a statement from the DOE, the $6bn will go towards decarbonising energy-intensive industries, reducing industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, supporting union jobs, revitalising industrial communities and strengthening the nation’s manufacturing competitiveness.

The 33 projects set to receive funding will be in the “highest emitting” industries where decarbonisation technologies will have the biggest impact, including steel, paper, concrete and glass making.

Of those selected, seven are in the chemicals and refining sector; six in cement and concrete; six in iron and steel; five in aluminium and metals; three in food and beverage; three in the glassmaking industry; two in process heating; and one in the pulp and paper sector.

Electrification of industrial processes will play a key part in their decarbonisation. In steelmaking, traditional coal-fired furnaces will be replaced with electric arc furnaces, which have the potential to be wholly powered by renewable electricity. Ironmaking facilities will see the introduction of hydrogen-based technology.

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US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said: “[The] DOE is making the largest investment in industrial decarbonisation in the history of the US. These investments will slash emissions from these difficult-to-decarbonise sectors and ensure American businesses and American workers remain at the forefront of the global economy.”

According to the DOE, the investment will eventually cut annual CO₂ emissions from the affected sectors by more than 14 million tonnes, or 77% on average. It will also help create tens of thousands of jobs, including those that promote union-backed work culture.

Nearly 80% of the projects that have been selected for funding are located in disadvantaged communities, the DOE said. This will offer the opportunity to invest in good jobs and clean air in communities that have experienced years of divestment.

The industrial sector contributes nearly one-third of the nation’s overall GHG emissions. The federal investment will be matched by the selected projects to leverage more than $20bn in total to demonstrate commercial-scale decarbonisation solutions needed to move the industrial sector toward net-zero emissions, the department said.

Production of cement, which is the main ingredient of concrete, accounted for 7% of global CO₂ emissions in 2019, according to data from the International Energy Agency. The selected cement and concrete projects, set to receive more than $1bn of the DOE funding budget, will use new technologies that have the potential to make the entire production process net negative. The metals industry will work to boost recycling processes and decarbonise supply chains.