The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has reportedly announced a $21.6 million fund for 10 research grants to develop an advanced software which would help with the design of new chemical processes and chemicals for energy generation and a plethora of other potential end-applications.

Reportedly, the new projects would leverage the nation’s high-performance computing power to accelerate the capabilities of new tools in designing new chemical processes and discovering new chemicals.

According to a press release by the Ames laboratory, the software development efforts would be led by its Iowa-based facility and nine other universities. Reportedly, the software developed as part of the funding would be open-source and available to all the industrial and scientific communities.

The U.S. Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry reportedly stated that advancements in the field of chemistry are very critical to the energy sector and the nation’s chemical industry. The projects would leverage USA’s leadership in the domain of high-performance computing to develop robust and powerful new tools that would expedite new discoveries in the field of chemistry, Perry added.

Reports claim, the current projects build upon the rapidly growing capabilities of scientists to develop chemical processes computationally. Such computational designs are quickly replacing traditional trial and error methods that are predominantly used in the field of chemistry to innovate.

According to reports, the primary aim of the current projects is to capitalize on the country’s most advanced computers, specifically on the petascale machines currently deployed at the national laboratories of DOE. The projects would also be employing the computational powers of the faster exascale machines that are anticipated to be deployed in the early years of the next decade.

For the record, the petascale machines can make one quadrillion (1015) calculations per second at the very least whereas the exascale machines are estimated to be capable of performing one quintillion (1018) calculations per second.

Reportedly, the first exascale machines are expected to be deployed at the Argonne National Laboratory by 2021.