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PPG Industries Gets DOE Funding

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The Industrial coatings business of PPG Industries Inc. (PPG) has secured an award worth $224,000 by the U.S. Department of Energy (:DOE) to help develop dark-colored pigments for cool metal roof and facade coatings that incorporate near-infrared (NIR.V) fluorescence and reflectance to improve energy performance.

The amount rewarded is part of a $530,000 project that includes a $250,000 award to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to partner with PPG on the research and $56,000 in cost-sharing by the company.

The PPG and Berkeley Lab program’s aim is to develop a more advanced class of dark-colored pigments that can convert a portion of the absorbed visible light energy into NIR energy that is radiated away from buildings.

PPG and Berkeley Lab expect the new pigment technology to be a more advanced technology over its competitors as it is estimated to achieve effective solar reflectance (ESR) values of 0.5 to 0.7 compared with ESR values of 0.1 to 0.3 for standard pigments.

The widespread distribution of coatings with pigments of improved ESR value for residential applications in warm and hot areas of the U.S. is expected to conserve energy and save up to $1.3 billion annually in related energy costs.

PPG and Berkeley Lab are focused on fundamentally understanding these pigments through extensive research and implementation of the outcomes into coatings so they can provide the greatest energy benefit. DOE’s support in this initiative will help to bring out cutting-edge energy-efficient concepts.

Currently, PPG has also collaborated with Berkeley Lab’s Heat Island Group and Berkeley Lab’s Windows & Daylighting group to study the effects of dirt build-up on cool roof coatings and to examine energy-efficient window designs respectively.

PPG Industries currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Other companies in the chemical industry worth considering include Methanex Corp. (MEOH), Olin Corp. (OLN) and The Dow Chemical Co. (DOW). While Methanex holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Dow and Olin carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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