Federal funding will target e-scrap separation for metals and plastics recovery. | Jer123 / Shutterstock

A government-backed institute that has funded e-scrap recycling research in recent years is accepting applications for another round of grants.

The Rochester, N.Y.-based Reducing EMbodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute issued a request for proposals to develop reuse, remanufacturing and recycling technologies for metals, polymers, fibers and scrap electronics. The institute, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, plans to award up to $12 million, which would be matched dollar-for-dollar by grant recipients.

In terms of e-scrap, the REMADE Institute is looking for projects that “develop cost-effective separation technologies that can more effectively and selectively separate and recover individual metals and plastics from e-waste.” It is also interested in funding efforts to redesign products to boost their reuse, recycling and remanufacturing potential. REMADE has allocated a total of $11 million in research and development grants, and it expects to award between 12 and 18 R&D grants.

Additionally, for this third round of funding, REMADE said it has set aside an additional $1 million to support education and training for the workforce, including employees who recycle electronics. It expects to award between four and eight of these workforce-development grants.

Founded in May 2017, the REMADE Institute has supported a number of e-scrap research projects over the past two years. Earlier this year, it announced grant awards for two electronics recycling projects that involve the use of leaching techniques and solvents to extract valuable metals. One involves New York processor Sunnking and the University of Utah, and the other involves Sunnking, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

In 2018, REMADE funded four e-scrap-related projects. They involved evaluating logistics for e-scrap collection and processing, improving the ability to reuse circuit boards by removing a coating material on them, testing circuit boards for defects and redesigning solar panels so they’re more easily recycled.

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