SID is currently working on two projects.
A Circular Economy aims to decouple economic growth from the consumption of Earth’s finite resources. To transition to a CE and reduce society’s reliance on virgin resources, we need to decarbonize and create secondary feedstocks. This project uses predictive modeling techniques to better understand how decarbonization technologies are being implemented, current and future materials flows, and the impacts of end of use (EoU) recovery strategies (e.g., reuse, remanufacturing, recycling and/or incineration for energy recovery). The findings will help identify the barriers in transitioning to a CE and create tools for improving the circularity for a broad range of products and materials. Further, this project aims to support the US manufacturing sector by facilitating the development of standards necessary for a CE.
The Closed-Loop Recovery Project is currently exploring the sustainability of plastics and solar photovoltaics (PVs).
Contact nehika.mathur [at] nist.gov (Nehika Mathur) for more information.
A circular economy has been proposed to decouple economic development and environmental degradation (i.e., maintain economic prosperity without continuing to destroy the earth). The ability to transition to a circular economy is hampered by an understanding of the impacts of different product life cycle stages during product design. Until recently designers have relied on rough criteria to reduce environmental impacts such as regulatory restrictions on the design focused on material choice or product performance during the use and consumption stage. Designing products for the circular economy will require greater insight into the choice of materials and use and end-of-use alternatives for the product. Better data can be made available through the application of digital technologies to gather these insights and widely sharing the information will take the form of guidelines and metrics. Designers need better insight into material availability and variability, end-of-use options, environmental impacts of the manufacturing production (beyond regulatory restrictions), and consideration of alternative business models, such as remanufacturing, which will result in take-back of products for refurbishment or disassembly. The Circular Product Design project develops and deploys data informatics (collaborative activities that apply trusted data in creative and useful ways) to support the transition to a Circular Economy with specific focus on design for mass produced, low customization, mixed material, battery containing consumer products.
Contact vincenzo.ferrero [at] nist.gov (Vincenzo Ferrero) for more information.