Technological watch

DOE awards $27M for plastics recycling research

Washington — The U.S. Department of Energy announced Oct. 16 that it is providing $27 million in grants to 12 projects to support plastics recycling.

The funding, which is part of the DOE's Plastics Innovation Challenge, includes money for research on chemical as well as mechanical recycling technologies, along with bio-based plastics and additives.

"The [Donald] Trump administration is committed to advancing innovation to position the U.S. as a global leader in advanced recycling technologies and upcycling technologies," said Mark Menezes, deputy secretary of energy. "These new projects support that objective through the development of energy-efficient recycling technologies that will strengthen U.S. competitiveness and help reduce plastic waste in our environment for generations to come."

The 12 grants, each in the neighborhood of $2 million, are coordinated through universities or other research groups and firms. Companies involved include Braskem, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., Amcor Ltd. and BASF SE.

The projects are looking at chemical recycling of polyesters, methods of making biodegradable polyurethanes from algae and research on biocomposite TPUs.

Other research efforts receiving money include developing recyclable thermosets for lightweight composites, work on upcycling PET catalyst technology developed by IBM, and several projects as part of the DOE's Bottle consortium, or Bio-Optimized Technologies to keep Themoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment.

Publication date: 16/10/2020

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme for the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative under grant agreement No 886416.