The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Reducing Embodied Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute today announced the selection of 14 projects, with a combined total of $9.8 million in research and development funding, to accelerate technologies that bolster the circular economy and dramatically reduce the embodied energy and carbon emissions associated with industrial-scale materials production and processing. The intended impact of these projects will motivate industry investments required to complete development and deploy these technologies across the U.S. manufacturing ecosystem.
By embracing the circular economy, this investment ensures that America’s manufacturing sector remains globally competitive while moving the nation closer to meeting the clean energy goals set forth by the Biden-Harris Administration including achieving a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050.
"These projects underscore the importance of manufacturing and materials innovations toward advancing a circular economy," said Dr. Christopher Saldaña, Director of Department of Energy’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO). "The partnership between DOE and the REMADE Institute serves as a conduit for catalyzing transformative practices that not only bolster America's manufacturing expertise, but also accentuate our nation's commitment to environmental stewardship."
The projects selected through this round of funding are committed to minimizing the consumption of virgin materials, enhancing product efficiency, by reducing embedded energy and optimizing material use, and prolonging product lifecycles across a broad range of industries, spanning batteries in electric and hybrid vehicles, to polymer usage in footwear. Selections were made from the following focus areas:
- Industry-led, transformative projects that aim to develop and demonstrate innovative technology solutions with the potential to significantly reshape recycling and remanufacturing industries.
- Traditional Research and Development (R&D) projects focused on maximizing material reuse, remanufacturing, recovery, and recycling, while identifying strategic opportunities to decrease energy usage and emissions tied to materials production, processing, and recycling.
The circular economy is a sustainable model that aims to minimize waste by keeping resources in use for as long as possible, extracting their maximum value while in use, then recovering and regenerating products and materials at the end of a resource’s life cycle. Not only does this reduce environmental impact, but it also offers new business opportunities and economic benefits, supporting innovation, job creation, and global competitiveness.
The REMADE Institute is one of DOE’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, led by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) and is a part of Manufacturing USA®, a network of federally funded institutes working to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and promote a robust and sustainable national manufacturing R&D infrastructure.