Phinix of Lexington gets $608,000 U.S. grant to develop magnesium extraction from scrap

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 9, 2013) — Phinix LLC, based at the University of Kentucky Coldstream Research Campus, has one of 33 U.S. Department of Energy projects that will receive approximately $66 million from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy under two new programs that provide options for a more sustainable and secure American future, the Lexington company announced today.

Deputy Director Cheryl Martin announced funding for the energy projects at an event in Washington, D.C.,  September 19, 2013.

Phinix has been awarded $608,863 for its Electrochemical Extraction of High Quality Magnesium from Scrap project, under which it is to develop a new electrochemical cell technology that can recover high-quality magnesium from aluminum-magnesium scrap. This technology could lower costs, energy inputs and emissions from magnesium production, expanding its use in transportation industries. By recovering and reusing aluminum-magnesium scrap, Phinix’s technology could reduce the need for manufacturing new, expensive primary metals while developing a sustainable and low-cost advanced manufacturing process.

Processing of aluminum-magnesium scarp to produce aluminum products used in beverage and transportation sectors is a key market driver for Kentucky’s economically significant aluminum industry employing over 15,000 men and women with high paying jobs.

Deputy Director Martin made the project announcement during a roundtable discussion on Capitol Hill that focused on how American ingenuity and strategic public-private partnerships are driving U.S. energy innovation. ARPA-E has two new programs that provide options for a more sustainable and secure American future.

One program, Modern Electro/Thermochemical Advancements for Light-metal Systems (METALS), provides $32 million to find cost-effective and energy-efficient manufacturing techniques to process and recycle metals for lightweight vehicles. The other program, Reducing Emissions using Methanotrophic Organisms for Transportation Energy (REMOTE), provides $34 million to find advanced biocatalyst technologies that can convert natural gas to liquid fuel for transportation.

“The new ARPA-E projects announced today demonstrate ARPA-E’s commitment to providing critical, early-stage funding for innovative energy technologies,” said Deputy Director Martin. “Today’s roundtable discussion focused on the importance of transformational energy innovation and how strategic partnerships between federal and state government, academia and the private sector create new energy options for our future.”

Dr. Subodh Das,founder and CEO of Phinix, will the principal Investigator for this project.


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