ARPA-E Archived Funding Opportunities

DE-FOA-0002263: Request for Information (RFI) on Rapid Encapsulation of Pipelines Avoiding Intensive Replacement (REPAIR)


The Advanced Research Projects Agency –Energy (ARPA‐E) in the U.S. Department of Energy is seeking comments on a draft technical section for a possible future program solicitation, which focuses on the suite of technologies required to rehabilitate cast iron, wrought iron, and bare steel natural gas distribution pipes by creating a new pipe inside the old pipe. The new pipe will meet utilities’ and regulatory agencies’ requirements, have a minimum life of 50 years, and have sufficient material properties to operate throughout its service life without reliance on the exterior pipe. ARPA‐E seeks input from experts in the fields of pipeline testing, advanced coating materials, biomimetic materials, smart materials (e.g., self-healing, or self-monitoring), robotic coating deposition tools, material inspection techniques, pipeline mapping tools, 3-D data visualization and data management, control and systems engineering, and gas pipeline operation; as well as service providers who replace, inspect, and locate natural gas utility pipelines.

Please carefully review the REQUEST FOR INFORMATION GUIDELINES below and note in particular: the information you provide will be used by ARPA-E solely for program planning, without attribution. THIS IS A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ONLY. THIS NOTICE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A FUNDING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT (FOA). NO FOA EXISTS AT THIS TIME. Respondents shall not include any information in their response to this RFI that might be considered proprietary or confidential.

Purpose and Need for Information:

The purpose of this RFI is solely to solicit input for ARPA-E consideration, to inform the possible formulation of future programs intended to help create transformative technology to rehabilitate cast iron, wrought iron, and bare steel natural gas distribution pipes by crafting new pipes inside pre-existing pipes. ARPA-E will not provide funding or compensation for any information submitted in response to this RFI, and ARPA-E may use information submitted to this RFI without any attribution to the source. This RFI provides the broad research community with an opportunity to contribute views and opinions regarding the rehabilitation of legacy natural gas pipelines.

This RFI previews only the draft technical section for a possible future program solicitation. If respondents are interested in other sections, including general format and requirements of an ARPA-E FOA, please visit . DE-FOA-0002212: Breakthroughs Enabling Thermonuclear-fusion Energy (BETHE) is a sample FOA to reference. A few common sections include but are not limited to:

  • III.A: Eligible Applicants (e.g. foreign entities)
  • III.B: Cost-Sharing
  • IV.C: Content and Form of full applications
  • VI.C: Reporting (e.g. cost)
  • VIII.B: Government Rights in Subject Inventions
  • VIII.C: Rights in Technical Data


A summary of RFI responses will be presented by Program Director Jack Lewnard on January 22, 2020 at ARPA-E’s REPAIR Industry Day. Individuals interested in attending Industry Day please indicate so in RFI response for more information.

ARPA-E may contact respondents to request clarification or seek additional information relevant to this RFI. All responses provided will be considered, but ARPA-E will not respond to individual submissions. Respondents shall not include any information in the response to this RFI that might be considered proprietary or confidential.

Responses to this RFI should be submitted in PDF format to the email address by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on January 20,2020. Emails should conform to the following guidelines:

Please insert “Responses for REPAIR” in the subject line of your email, and include your name, title, organization, type of organization (e.g. university, non-governmental organization, small business, large business, federally funded research and development center (FFRDC), government-owned/government-operated (GOGO), etc.), email address, telephone number, and area of expertise in the body of your email.Responses to this RFI are limited to no more than 5 pages in length (12 point font size).Respondents are strongly encouraged to include preliminary results, data, and figures that describe their potential methodologies.

Questions: ARPA-E encourages responses that address any subset of the following questions and encourages the inclusion of references to important supplementary information.

1. The target pipeline diameter is 10 inches and larger.Please comment on ability to develop robotic coating deposition and inspection tools for smaller diameter pipes.

2. Task 1 identifies a preliminary list of testing for “pipe in pipe”.Please comment on the suitability of the list and other potential tests ARPA-E should include.

3. The legacy pipelines are made from cast/wrought iron, and bare (uncoated) steel.Please comment:

     a. on the ability of a single coating, or family of coatings to be suitable for both types of pipes

     b. on the ability of pipe inspection technologies to be suitable for both types of pipes

4. Component developers need to collaborate with system integrators to demonstrate integrated products.Advanced materials, robotics, and inspection tools must be tailored to work together.ARPA-E is recommending component developers and system integrators form teams to produce integrated systems.ARPA-E is interested in alternative approaches that will lead to the demonstration of integrated systems at the end of the program.For example, is it better to form teams at the start, so components are developed concurrently; or delay team formation to allow component developers maximum flexibility in optimizing their technologies?

5. Task 6 seeks to develop 3D maps that incorporate data from REPAIR processes as well as utility data such as leak reports.Utilities are increasing the use of GIS-enabled databases for managing operations data.Are there preferred platforms for data storage/management in order to integrate coating data, inspection data, and mapping data? Should the FOA specify data format(s)?

6. Any other issues, questions, or feedback regarding the draft FOA


  • RFI on Rapid Encapsulation of Pipelines Avoiding Intensive Replacement (REPAIR) (Last Updated: 1/7/2020 09:49 AM ET)

Submission Deadlines

  • Concept Paper Submission Deadline: TBD
  • Full Application Submission Deadline: TBD