Energy to Fund Millions for Projects to Revamp Recycling

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Approximately $24 million will be invested in total.

The Energy Department recently unveiled plans to infuse millions in funding for up to 18 research projects that aim to provide innovative solutions to problems in plastic recycling. 

According to a call for proposals released Friday, the agency aims to award up to $12 million for projects that will support both research and development, as well as education and workforce development, to boost U.S. manufacturers reuse and recycling of plastic and other materials. 

“Creating opportunities to remanufacture, refurbish, repair, reuse, and recycle used consumer products over a product’s life cycle can reduce the energy required to manufacture key materials and improve overall manufacturing energy efficiency through increased use of secondary materials,” agency officials said in the announcement. Humans are producing more than 300 million tons of plastic each year and about half of those materials are employed for single-use purposes. In 2017, Energy introduced Reducing EMbodied Energy and Decreasing Emissions Manufacturing Institute, or REMADE, to partner with industry stakeholders, academic institutions and national labs across America to accelerate the research and development of technologies that can reduce dangerous emissions that result from producing and processing industrial-scale materials.

To accelerate innovation, the institute is looking for proposals that align with several focus areas including: creating design alternatives to enhance the recovery, recycling, reuse, and remanufacturing of products at the end of their life cycles, offering the American workforce cutting-edge training in crucial recycling topics and developing and advancing technologies and materials to boost recycling rates. 

The approximate total of $24 million to be invested in solving the issues will be made up of half REMADE funding and half the awardees’ cost-share. Interested applicants should submit a letter of intent by Thursday. Full proposals are due Dec. 18.