PARC Awarded Additional Funding from ARPA-E to Further Develop Aluminum Alloy Detection Unit

Press Release

Palo Alto, CA – PARC, a Xerox company, announced its “plus up” award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). PARC received this new award, after completing its original $1 million contract, as part of ARPA-E’s Modern Electro/Thermochemical Advancements for Light-metal Systems (METALS) Program, which, in part, aims to develop cost-effective and energy-efficient manufacturing techniques to process and recycle light metals. 

“Our technology could change the way we recycle, and we’re excited ARPA-E is encouraging us to continue development,” said Dr. Craig Eldershaw, senior research engineer of PARC’s Hardware Systems Lab. “Of course, recycling is becoming more and more important, and with the growth of the lightweight automotive vehicle industry alone, we’ll see an even bigger need for sorting various types of metals. Given the affordability and efficiency of our units, it will be possible for small businesses to buy and use them, creating a grass roots recycling industry that will also reduce US energy consumption.”

PARC received ARPA-E funding under the METALS Program to develop a novel technology to efficiently sort scrap aluminum pieces by alloy composition. The technology uses an electrochemical diagnostic probe to look for elemental signatures of the major alloying agents in a piece of scrap. This advanced and affordable probe currently provides 92 percent accuracy in a test that takes 0.1 seconds. Competing technologies are costly and inefficient as they may take up to a minute to correctly identify different alloys of aluminum. As part of this award, PARC will build 20 units to deploy for realistic field-testing.

ARPA-E is an agency within the U.S. Department of Energy that invests in disruptive ideas to create America’s future energy technologies. For more information on ARPA-E and its innovative project portfolio, please visit

 About PARC

PARC, a Xerox company, is in the Business of Breakthroughs®. Practicing open innovation, we provide custom R&D services, technology, expertise, best practices, and intellectual property to Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, startups, and government agencies and partners. We create new business options, accelerate time to market, augment internal capabilities, and reduce risk for our clients. Since its inception, PARC has pioneered many technology platforms – from the Ethernet and laser printing to the GUI and ubiquitous computing – and has enabled the creation of many industries. Incorporated as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002, PARC today continues the physical, computer, and social sciences research that enables breakthroughs for our clients’ businesses.

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