Nike receives funding for a clothing recycling project


Nike is receiving funding of $504,143 for its apparel recycling project called “Development of an Automated Clothing Disassembly and Separation Method for Recycling”, which is taking place at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the United States.

Nike is one of 23 technology research projects to receive funding from the Remade Institute, which is a 132-member public-private partnership established by the US Department of Energy (DOE).

The Remade Institute started with an initial investment of $140 million and last week, he announced that the final round of funding would be $33.2 million for the research of new technologies.

This latest round of investment is cost-shared between the DOE’s investment in the Remade Institute and the funding recipients. The 23 research and development (R&D) projects, including the Nike Recycling Apparel Project, are expected to result in technologies capable of:

  • Increase recycled or secondary materials up to 8.9 million metric tons per year
  • Save up to 407 petajoules (PJ) of embodied energy per year, equivalent to conserving 66.5 million barrels of oil per year
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 24.1 million metric tons per year – eliminating annual emissions from over 5.2 million cars

Other project partners include: Volvo, BorgWarner, BigBattery, Pratt & Whitney, Mercury Marine, Alfred University, Auburn University, Lehigh University, Ford Motor Co., Caterpillar, John Deere, Michelin, Nike, MITRIT, Unilever and Yale University.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the US DOE, Kelly Speakes-Backman, explained: “The transition to a zero greenhouse gas economy will require an unprecedented reduction in embodied energy and carbon emissions associated with fundamental industrial materials in all critical sectors, from healthcare and agriculture to transportation.”

She added, “By investing in technologies that improve our ability to reuse, recycle, and remanufacture these materials, the DOE is moving the United States toward a circular economy and reducing carbon emissions in manufacturing.

CEO redone Nabil Nasr explained the link between industrial development and climate change is important, as highlighted by the recent United Nations climate conference, COP26in Glasgow, Scotland.

He explained that according to the U.S. Department of Energy, manufacturing accounts for 25% of U.S. energy consumption at a cost of approximately $150 billion. While data from the US Environmental Protection Agency shows that industry is the third largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the country, after transportation and electricity at 23%.

The electricity consumed by the industrial sector, however, is 30%, making industry the largest contributor to the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

He pointed out that this is why a circular approach to manufacturing – “make-use-reuse-recondition-recycle” – is so important, and why Remade is dedicated to embracing a circular economy.

Nasr said: “If we don’t reduce industrial energy consumption and industrial emissions, research shows that we will only reach just over half of net zero by 2050, or about 55% of the path. A circular economy approach to how we make and use everyday products is needed to get us to net zero.

CTO redone Magdi Azer said the Institute’s research aims to increase circularity for four classes of energy-intensive materials: metals, plastics/polymers, fibers and e-waste.

Azer added, “Remade’s projects address multiple aspects of the circular economy, including reuse, refurbishment, recovery and recycling. These latest R&D projects will, for example, explore better ways to repair aerospace components, develop an automated disassembly process for electric vehicle batteries, and provide fast and accurate state-of-charge estimates and of the state of health of lithium-ion. Battery.”

In 2021, the Remade Institute funded or selected 45 projects to be negotiated, representing $65.8 million in investment. Since its creation in 2017, the Institute has launched 84 projects, representing a combined total value of $85.6 million and a sixth round of funding is expected to be announced next year.

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