The REMADE Institute, a public-private partnership established by the United States Department of Energy and the first institute in the U.S. dedicated to accelerating the nation’s transition to a Circular Economy, today announced $43 million in new technology research, selecting 24 new projects as part of the institute’s latest round of funding.
REMADE Chief Executive Officer Nabil Nasr said the anticipated results of the projects will move the U.S. closer to the nation’s energy conservation and emissions reduction targets, both of which have received renewed national attention in recent weeks.
“Our mission is to reduce energy consumption and decrease emissions, while increasing the U.S.’s manufacturing competitiveness,” Nasr said. “Our experts are working diligently to reach these critically important goals and, in the process, accelerate the U.S.’s transition to a Circular Economy.”
The $43 million investment is cost-shared between REMADE and the funding recipients. The 24 research projects are expected to result in numerous positive impacts, including:
- Increase the recycling of materials by as much as 20 million metrics tons per year — a nearly 15% increase per year in all recycled materials in the U.S.
- Save up to 640 petajoules (PJ) of embodied energy per year — the equivalent of conserving 100 million barrels of oil per year, or the amount consumed in the average work week in the U.S.
- Decrease greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 30 million metric tons per year — erasing the GHG emissions of approximately 1.9 million people per year in the U.S.
Of the 24 projects, many involve new partners for REMADE, including the Ford Motor Company, BASF, and Case Western Reserve University. They join more than 90 existing partners, including industry innovators and academic researchers with Caterpillar, John Deere, Michelin, Nike, MIT, RIT, Yale University and many more.
Efforts are ongoing worldwide to move from today’s linear economy, where we take-make-dispose, to a Circular Economy, where we make-use-recycle. Reducing energy consumption and decreasing GHG emissions are major components of that transformation.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, manufacturing accounts for 25% of U.S. energy consumption at a cost of approximately $150 billion. Based on data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, industry is the third-largest contributor to GHG emissions in the nation at 22%.
“REMADE and its partners are determined to reduce those numbers significantly, while creating new clean economy jobs,” Nasr said.
Magdi Azer, Chief Technology Officer for REMADE, said the institute’s research examines the Circular Economy as a whole, and focuses primarily on four materials classes in which the institute can make the most impact: metals, polymers, fibers, and electronic waste.
“REMADE’s projects address multiple aspects of the Circular Economy, including remanufacturing, recycling, and recovery,” Azer said. “These latest projects will, for example, explore ways to advance sustainable automotive manufacturing and address issues related to plastics recycling in food packaging — one of the fastest-growing and most pressing sustainability issues in the U.S.”
The selected projects include large-scale transformational projects, which are led by industry and address issues across the supply chain.
This latest round of funding, REMADE’s fourth, brings the institute’s total number of research projects to more than 60, representing a total combined value of $63 million since the institute’s founding in 2017. Detailed information on all REMADE projects can be found on the REMADE Institute website.
Nasr said a fifth round of funding, valued at an additional $50 million, is expected to be announced in late spring. Projects that address education and workforce development will be considered in the fifth round, in addition to the transformational and traditional research projects that REMADE prioritizes.
“REMADE is the leading Circular Economy institute in the U.S., and our manufacturing, university and national lab members are always open to working with new partners,” he said. “Our next round of funding will be an ideal opportunity to explore potential partnerships further.”
Founded in 2017, REMADE is a public-private partnership established by the U.S. Department of Energy. REMADE is the only national institute focused entirely on the development of innovative technologies to accelerate the U.S.’s transition to a Circular Economy. In partnership with industry, academia, and national laboratories, the REMADE Institute enables early-stage applied research and development that will create jobs, dramatically reduce embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions, and increase the supply and use of recycled materials. The cumulative, five-year embodied energy savings, greenhouse gas reduction and increase in recycled materials use expected to result from REMADE’s investment is approximately 1 Quad of energy (approximately 180 million barrels of oil per year), about 50 million metric tons of CO2equivalent greenhouse gas reduction, and more than a 40 million metric tons per year increase in the supply and use of recycled materials, respectively. For additional information about the REMADE Institute, visit www.remadeinstitute.org.
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Megan Connor Murphy
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