Rochester Institute of Technology Launches National Recycling Initiative

The Rochester Institute of Technology recently launched a new initiative dedicated to promoting technological advances utilized by small- and medium-sized businesses involved in recycling, reuse, and remanufacturing of materials such as aluminium.

The REMADE Institute is the result of a US$150 million investment by the United States federal government, domestic industry, over two dozen major universities, and national labs. The name of the initiative is an acronym for “Reducing Embodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions.”

“Today, if you take some aluminum and you recycle it, what it ends up doing is going into a soda can. That’s called ‘downcycling’. We want to find ways to improve how we process that material, so that we can reuse it again and again and again in airplanes, not just in aluminum cans,” explained Magdi Azer of the Illinois Applied Research Institute. Azer is also REMADE Institute’s Chief Technology Officer.

“The original equipment manufacturer can do this process cost effectively and really make the most of the energy that was spent making the product in the first place, so that energy doesn’t get wasted,” said Deborah Thurston, head of the Institute’s Design for Reuse/Disassembly node.

The institute will focus upon five areas: system analysis and integration, design for reuse and disassembly, manufacturing processes, remanufacturing/end-of-life reuse, and recycling and recovery.

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