DOE funds projects focused on biobased plastics

By Erin Voegele | October 28, 2020

The U.S. Department of Energy on Oct. 15 announced more than $27 million in funding for 12 projects that will support the development of advanced plastics recycling technologies and new plastics that are recyclable by design. Several of the funded projects focus on biobased plastics.

Awards were made under several project areas, including the development of highly recyclable or biodegradable plastics; novel methods for deconstructing and upcycling existing plastics; and BOTTLE Laboratory Consortium collaborations to tackle challenges in plastic waste.

Projects selected for funding that focus on biobased plastics include:

University of California, San Diego – $2 million: Production of high-performance biodegradable polyurethane products made from algae precursors. Partners include Algenesis, BASF, Pepsi, Reef, and University of California – Davis.

University of California, San Diego – $20.9 million: Degradable Biocomposite Thermoplastic Polyurethanes. Partners include BASF and University of Georgia.

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities – $2.5 million: BOTTLE – Recyclable and Biodegradable Manufacturing and Processing of Plastics and Polymers based on Renewable Branched Caprolactones. Partners include BASF, MIT, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

University of Wisconsin-Madison – $2.5 million:  Designing Recyclable Biomass Biomass-Based Polyesters. Partners include Amcor, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pyran, Stora Enso, and the University of Oklahoma.

Additional information and a full list of funded projects is available on the DOE website.