A new investment by the U.S. Department of Energy is helping an Ithaca-based company develop new energy saving techniques for businesses.

Novomer, Inc. was awarded $5 million to work with public and private partners to create new money saving manufacturing processes and reduce energy usage. The awards are possible because of the agency's attempt to meet President Barack Obama's push for revitalizing the country's manufacturing sector. The agency is also using the awards to launch its new Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, to put more emphasis on innovation and more efficient technology.

The money will allow the company to lead a project that will use carbon dioxide from industry sources and ethane derivatives from shale gas to create other chemicals used in paints, textiles, diapers and other plastic polymers.

Novomer anticipates the project will help reduce cradle-to-grave energy use by between 20 and 40 percent. Officials say the results could create more jobs and help American companies compete globally.

Only five companies nationwide were selected during this round of awards, totaling $23.5 million.