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Investment to advance circular economy

Investment to advance circular economy

November 12, 2019

The REMADE Institute announced a $24 million (€21.75 million) investment for technology solutions to advance the circular economy.

The REMADE Institute issued its third Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop transformational technologies to increase the recovery, reuse, remanufacturing and recycling of metals, polymers, fibers, and e-waste.

REMADE’s investment will help solve some of the key technical challenges to deriving the energy, environmental and social benefits of a circular economy. The Institute’s investment will support addressing knowledge gaps that can increase the recycling of plastics and increase the remanufacturing and re-use of products ranging from consumer electronics to high-performance engines. The Institute is also seeking education and workforce development content to support high-quality jobs in the economy and ensure that the workforce is trained to meet the changing needs of industry.

Variations in market dynamics have led to dramatic decreases in plastic recycling rates in the US from 9.1 percent (2015) to 4.4 percent (2018), resulting in more plastic in landfills, incinerators, waste streams and our environment, including the oceans. REMADE’s investment will support the development of new recovery and recycling technology to reverse this trend and achieve the energy, environmental and social benefits associated with sustainable recycling of plastics.

By extending the useful life of products or components, remanufacturing provides a significant opportunity to increase energy efficiency, preserve material resources used, and reduce the need for even more material and energy resources in US manufacturing. Yet today, remanufacturing accounts for less than two percent intensity in sectors where remanufacturing is common, the Institute said.

Training and development of the workforce that will be required to design, build and operate new technologies for the circular economy is essential. As part of this new RFP, the REMADE Institute will invest in education and workforce development to support high-quality jobs and ensure that the workforce is trained to meet the changing needs of industry.

Other examples of projects that REMADE will invest in include:

  • Develop new manufacturing and recycling technologies to increase secondary feedstock use in manufacturing by 20 percent without loss of properties or performance.
  • Develop cost-effective separation technologies that can more effectively and selectively separate and recover individual metals and plastics from e-waste with the purpose of increasing the current e-waste recycling rate by 30 percent.
  • Create design alternatives that increase the recovery, recycling, reuse, and remanufacturing of products at the end of their life cycle.
  • Provide cutting-edge training in recycling for the American workforce. This includes advanced education and workforce training in metals, fibers, electronic waste and plastics recycling.

Founded in May 2017, REMADE is a $140 million (€126.89 million) Manufacturing USA Institute co-funded by the US Department of Energy. REMADE is the only National Institute investing in the development of transformational technologies to support US manufacturing in the transition to a circular economy.

In partnership with industry, academia and national labs, the REMADE Institute enables early-stage applied research and development of technologies that will create new jobs and will dramatically reduce embodied energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with industrial-scale materials production and processing and increase the supply and use of recycled materials.

The cumulative embodied energy savings, greenhouse gas reduction and increase in recycled materials use expected to result from REMADE’s 5-year $140 million (€126.89 million) investment in research is approximately 1 Quad of energy (approximately 180 million barrels of oil per year), about 25 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas reduction and more than a 40 million metric tons per year increase in the supply and use of recycled materials, respectively.

For a detailed description of the RFP topics, due dates and questions about the proposal process, visit https://remadeinstitute.org/project-call-documentation.

Categories : Around the Industry

Tags : Circular economy Investment Remanufacturing Reuse

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