Braskem EVA Recycling Technology Research Partnership Awarded RD&D Grant from the REMADE Institute
Braskem, a leading producer of biopolymers, has been awarded a $504,000 Research, Demonstration, and Development (RD&D) grant from the REMADE Institute for their polymer recycling technology research partnership. This innovative project aims to create a new pathway for recycling ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) as a sustainable materials solution for the footwear industry. The partnership includes Braskem America, adidas, Allbirds, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), showcasing a collaborative effort to support the U.S. transition to a Circular Economy.
Kimberly McLoughlin, Principal Engineer at Braskem, expressed the shared vision between Braskem and REMADE for building a more sustainable future, centered around the creation of a carbon-neutral circular economy. The focus on R&D-driven innovation is aimed at creating the next generation of manufacturing and materials science technologies, highlighting the commitment to sustainable practices and technological advancement.
The REMADE Institute, established by the United States Department of Energy (DOE), is dedicated to accelerating the nation’s transition to a Circular Economy by enabling early-stage applied research and development of key industrial platform technologies. By addressing technical and economic barriers to material recycling, recovery, remanufacturing, and reuse, the institute seeks to drive industry investments and support the U.S. manufacturing ecosystem.
One of the key projects awarded funding by REMADE is Braskem’s ‘Dynamic Crosslinking to Produce Secondary Feedstock from Recycled EVA as a Sustainable Solution for Footwear.’ This project aims to reduce waste generated by permanently cross-linked EVA, a rubbery material used in shoe midsoles, by developing dynamic crosslinking technology that enables the direct reuse of process scrap and the recyclability of post-service parts.
Nabil Nasr, REMADE Chief Executive Officer, emphasized the importance of cleaner production, clean tech, and adoption of a circular economy as critical drivers for a prosperous future. The collaboration with Braskem and its partners is seen as a significant step towards accelerating the U.S.’s transition to a Circular Economy, aligning with the nation’s energy conservation and emissions reduction targets.
The circular economy model, which aims to minimize waste and maximize the value of resources, is gaining recognition as a sustainable approach to resource management. The partnership between Braskem and REMADE exemplifies the commitment to advancing sustainable practices and driving innovation in materials recycling and manufacturing technologies, contributing to a more sustainable economy and society.