A new sustainable manufacturing institute, led by the US Energy Department, will focus on reducing the cost of technologies needed to reuse, recycle and remanufacture materials such as metals, fibers, polymers and electronic waste.
The Reducing Embodied-energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute, which will be headquartered in Rochester, New York and led by the Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation Alliance, aims to achieve a 50 percent improvement in overall energy efficiency by 2027, which could save manufacturers’ billions of dollars, the DOE says.
REMADE will use up to $70 million in federal funding, subject to appropriations, and this will be matched by $70 million in private cost-share commitments from more than 100 partners including Dell, Nike, Resource Recycling Systems and ThinkStep. In total, 26 universities, 44 companies, seven national labs, 26 industry trade associations and foundations and three states (New York, Colorado and Utah) are supporting the institute.
REMADE is the fifth DOE-led institute in the Manufacturing USA network. These institutes have more than 1,300 corporate members and have received more than $920 million federal dollars, matched by more than $1.87 billion in non-federal investment.
Extracting raw materials like steel and aluminum for manufacturing is energy intensive as is the manufacturing process used to make products with these materials. By enabling recycling and remanufacturing — the rebuilding of original products using a combination of reused or recycled parts — technologies, REMADE will reduce life-cycle energy consumption for products and improve overall manufacturing efficiencies, the DOE says.
The institute will also focus on new ways for information collecting; gathering, identification and sorting of end-of-life and waste materials; separating mixed materials; removal of trace contaminants and robust and cost-effective reprocessing and disposal methods.
REMADE follows the December launch of a DOE-led program that embeds startups in a national laboratory where they will develop environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient technologies that drive manufacturing growth. Bringing these new technologies to market will have ripple effects across multiple sectors by creating cheaper, more efficient manufacturing processes.