At a Glance


Industrial Goods and Manufacturing

Project Type

Industrial Energy Efficiency




Peoria, IL / Mapleton, IL, IL

Reductions icon

Annual CO2 Reductions:

13,000 metric tons


Austin Bushree helped Caterpillar reduce the energy intensity associated with heating and lighting, and recommended energy improvements to the production line.


Caterpillar Inc.’s Mapleton foundry is a leader in their industry. The process of melting, transporting, and sculpting molten iron to create engine blocks is inherently energy intensive. EDF Climate Corps fellow Austin Bushree was tasked with reducing the energy intensity of this industrial facility while maintaining or improving the production rate.


After working closely with the veterans of Mapleton to learn the production process and the energy flows of the facility, Bushree proposed three projects that offered significant energy savings:

  1. The first project focused on reducing the amount of natural gas used to preheat the ladles that haul molten iron throughout the facility.
  2. The second project outlined lighting upgrades that can handle the intense heat in the facility.
  3. Lastly, Bushree worked closely with the facilities team to design a system that recaptures heat from the general facility air as it exits the building and redirect it to heat the incoming makeup air.  

Potential Impact

Bushree ensured that each of the proposed projects reached an acceptable or exceptional internal rate of return for Caterpillar. If implemented, the upgraded high-efficiency burners could reduce the gas usage by as much as 80%, saving the facility nearly $30,000 per year. The lighting retrofits could reduce 3.5M kWh per year and save $175,000 per year.

Additionally, the initial concept design calculations show the heating system has the potential to reduce 200,000 MMBtu of natural gas per year with savings of nearly $1 million per year. Plans for further engineering and validation have been vetted and are scheduled to occur in the coming years.

In total, these projects have the potential to reduce carbon emissions by over 13,000 tons CO2 equivalent per year and thus, lowering the facility’s environmental impact while demonstrating positive financial returns for Caterpillar.

Related Links