DOE Announces $25M in Funding for Plastics Recycling Research

(Credit: Unsplash)

by | Mar 16, 2020

Plastic bottle

(Credit: Unsplash)

The DOE has announced up to $25 million in funding for plastics recycling research and development as part of its Plastics Innovation Challenge. The challenge is a program meant to accelerate innovations in plastics recycling technologies and to improve “how we manage plastics within and beyond America’s borders,” says Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes.

The funding opportunity is seeking the development of new plastics that are capable of efficient recyclability, as well as the improvement of recycling strategies that can break existing plastics into chemical building blocks which can be used to make higher-value products.

The DOE also announced the launch of the new BOTTLE Consortium. The National Laboratory-led BOTTLE Consortium is focused on designing new plastics and recycling strategies, in collaboration with industry and academia. The BOTTLE Consortium currently consists of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Organizations seeking funding should focus on areas including:

  • Highly recyclable or biodegradable plastics
  • Novel methods for deconstructing and “up cycling” existing plastics
  • BOTTLE Consortium collaborations to tackle challenges in plastic waste

Concept papers are due on April 22, 2020, and full applications are due on June 18, 2020.

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