Plastics Recycling Update

REMADE Institute awards millions in plastic R&D grants

Plastics producer Braskem is involved with three plastics recycling R&D projects to receive funding from the REMADE Institute. | T. Schneider/Shutterstock

A federally backed research institute has awarded nearly $10 million to various R&D projects, with nearly half going to work that supports plastics recycling. 

The Reducing Embodied Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute, a public-private initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, will award $9.8 million in R&D grants to 14 projects, according to a press release

Nearly $4.8 million, or almost half of the total monetary award sum, went to projects focused on chemically recycling plastic, redesigning plastic packaging, sorting plastics or improving PCR quality. The following were the projects, organized by REMADE grant award amount:  

$1.5 million: “Pilot plant demonstration of plastic upcycling for the production of sustainable petrochemical alternatives,” a project by Aeternal Upcycling in partnership with Inter-Rail Systems and Argonne National Laboratory (see this story about Aeternal Upcycling in this week’s Plastics Recycling Update). 

$1.28 million: “Novel, transient, thermal barcode system for highly accurate, high-speed, automated plastics sorting,” a project by the University of Buffalo.

$671,000: “Remaking of recyclable multilayer barrier films,” a project by the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in partnership with Braskem, Dow Chemical and AquaPak. 

$600,000: “Demonstration of solvent-based plastic recycling to extract pure PP from PCR,” a project by Michigan Tech University in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Braskem America. 

$504,000: “Dynamic crosslinking to produce secondary feedstock from recycled EVA as a sustainable solution for footwear,” a project by Braskem America in partnership with Adidas, Allbirds and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

$200,000: “Design for recycling: All-polyolefin multilayer flexible packaging,” a project by Michigan Tech University in partnership with Amcor Global.

In addition, REMADE awarded $1.25 million for a project titled “Low resource autonomous waste sorting system to optimize sustainable collection,” which is by rStream Recycling in partnership with D&K Engineering.

Other funded projects focused on paper, metals, tires, textiles and equipment remanufacturing. 

This was the 6th funding round for REMADE, which was founded in 2017 with an initial investment of $140 million. The request for proposals for the 6th round was released in February.

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