Department of Energy grants are available to advance energy-efficient recycling processes. | cwales/Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Energy will provide up to $25 million for the development of efficiently recycled polymers and improved recycling processes.

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced the grants as part of its recently launched Plastics Innovation Challenge.

According to a press release, the funding is available to support R&D in a couple areas: highly recyclable or biodegradable plastics, and energy-efficient recycling processes that break down plastics into intermediate chemicals, which can then be used in higher-value products.

The funding announcement is called “BOTTLE: Bio-Optimized Technologies to Keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment.” Initial applications, which take the form of a concept paper, are due April 22. Full applications are due June 18.

As part of the announcement, DOE also launched a new BOTTLE Consortium, which will focus on designing new plastics and recycling strategies in collaboration with industry and academia. The consortium currently consists of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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