DOE: BOTTLE - Bio-Optimized Technologies to Keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment [DE-FOA-0002244]

The Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) entitled “BOTTLE: Bio-Optimized Technologies to Keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment.” This FOA, jointly funded by the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), supports the Department’s Plastics Innovation Challenge, a comprehensive DOE program to accelerate innovations in energy-efficient plastics recycling technologies, which was announced on November 21, 2019. Additional information regarding the Plastics Innovation Challenge can be found by visiting https://www.energy.gov/articles/department-energy-launches-plastics-inno....
Current recycling strategies often do not allow for cost-effective recycling of commonly used plastics. Typical recycling techniques can result in diminished material properties, which limit opportunities to produce products from recycled material with equal or greater value. However, there is an opportunity to advance new technologies that use recycled materials to reduce manufacturing energy consumption for some of the most prevalent plastics by up to 50 percent, including those used in grocery bags and beverage bottles.
 
BETO and AMO have identified significant potential to improve the carbon efficiency and energy efficiency of plastics recycling technologies. To achieve this, research is needed to:
 
- Develop novel polymers that are designed for infinite recyclability;
 
- Create innovative deconstruction pathways for existing polymers that generate high-value products; and
 
- Establish a consistent framework for evaluating carbon and energy efficiency across potential material flows and transformations.