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EERE - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

11/08/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/08/2019 10:13

Energy Department Manufacturing Institute Announces Call for Proposals to Address Challenges in Plastics Recycling

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $12 million funding opportunity for new projects to support research and development (R&D) and education and workforce development that will enable U.S. manufacturers to increase the recovery, recycling, reuse, and remanufacturing of plastics and other materials. DOE's Reducing EMbodied Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Manufacturing Institute will fund approximately 12 to 18 exploratory and full R&D projects aligned with REMADE's research focus areas, as well as four to eight education and workforce development projects.

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.

REMADE's project call seeks proposals that align with the following focus areas:

  • Develop new manufacturing and recycling technologies to increase secondary feedstock use in manufacturing by 20% without loss of properties or performance. Materials of interest include plastic, which has a recycling rate of 4.4%.
  • Create design alternatives that increase the recovery, recycling, reuse, and remanufacturing of products at the end of their life cycle.
  • Develop technologies to separate and recover specific polymers and metals in e-waste materials, which could improve e-waste recycling rates by 30% from a 2015 baseline (from the current rate of 22% to 28.6%)
  • Advance technologies that remove pigments from polymers to enable a 25% increase in recycling rates and a 25% reduction in energy consumption from a 2015 baseline.
  • Provide cutting-edge training in recycling, including plastics recycling, for the American workforce and to support the development of a new REMADE professional certificate program.

Approximately $24 million, with 50% in REMADE funding and 50% awardee cost-share, will be invested. A letter of intent is due on Thursday, November 14, 2019, and full proposals are due on Wednesday, December 18, 2019. Learn more about the submission requirements.

Founded in May 2017, in partnership with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy'sAdvanced Manufacturing Office, REMADE is the thirteenth institute in the federally-funded Manufacturing USA network. In partnership with industry, academia, and the DOE National Laboratories, the REMADE Institute enables early-stage applied R&D of technologies that could dramatically reduce the embodied energy and carbon dioxide emissions associated with industrial-scale materials production and processing.