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Energy Department Launches Institute Focused on Recycling and Reusing Materials

The REMADE Institute will focus on driving down the cost of technologies needed to reuse, recycle and remanufacture materials such as metals, fibers, polymers and electronic waste.

As part of the Manufacturing USA initiative, the Energy Department announced its new Reducing Embodied-energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute, which will be headquartered in Rochester, N.Y. and led by the Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation Alliance.  REMADE will leverage up to $70 million in federal funding, subject to appropriations, and will be matched by $70 million in private cost-share commitments from over 100 partners.

The REMADE Institute will focus on driving down the cost of technologies needed to reuse, recycle and remanufacture materials such as metals, fibers, polymers and electronic waste and aims to achieve a 50 percent improvement in overall energy efficiency by 2027. These efficiency measures could save billions in energy costs and improve U.S. economic competitiveness through innovative new manufacturing techniques, small business opportunities, and offer new training and jobs for American workers.

“The REMADE Institute is a key example of how public-private partnerships like Manufacturing USA are critical to advancing America’s low-carbon economy and strengthening manufacturing industries across the country,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “This Institute will be an important catalyst to leverage innovation and energy efficient technologies that will reduce harmful emissions while creating jobs and building America’s 21st century economy.”

U.S. manufacturing accounts for nearly 25 percent of the nation’s total annual energy use. The physical products that are created as a result of manufacturing embody most of that energy. The research and deployment of cost-effective technologies that could reduce the energy used in materials production could offer energy savings of up to 1.6 quadrillion BTU annually in the U.S.– more than the electricity, oil and other energy consumed by New Hampshire, Hawaii, Delaware, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C. and Vermont combined.

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, the Institute will dramatically reduce life-cycle energy consumption for products and improve overall manufacturing efficiencies. The focus also includes 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.

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