BGS staff played an integral role in the recently completed Bio-Optimized Technologies to Keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment (BOTTLE) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). This FOA is jointly funded and managed by the Bioenergy Technologies (BETO) and Advanced Manufacturing Offices (AMO). The BOTTLE FOA supports the DOE’s Plastics Innovation Challenge, a comprehensive program to accelerate innovations in energy-efficient plastics recycling technologies. In 2019, the Multi-Topic FOA piloted a topic focused on bio-based technologies for plastics. In FY20, this collaborative effort between BETO and AMO will expand on this area and partner with the National Lab-led “BOTTLE” Consortium.
The FY20 BOTTLE FOA includes three topic areas: (1) Highly Recyclable or Biodegradable Plastics; (2) Novel Methods for Deconstructing and Upcycling Existing Plastics; and (3) BOTTLE Consortium Collaborations to Tackle Challenges in Plastic Waste. A total of 247 concept papers and 120 full applications were received covering all topic areas. BGS helped manage the entire FOA process from start to finish. This was a joint effort between BETO and AMO staff, with members from both programs helping out with compliance reviews and facilitating meetings during the Merit Review meetings.
A special shout out to all from BGS who helped during these meetings, as we had to ask other teams in addition to BETO and AMO to help in a pinch. With $27.2M in available funding, a total of 12 projects are being awarded to teams consisting of Universities, Private Industry, and National Laboratories. These projects will be managed by BGS and DOE staff in the BETO office (5 awards) and the AMO office (7 awards). New plastics to meet new challenges and new processes to meet existing challenges!