Skip to main content

Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies


Developing scalable, sustainable materials to enable circular economies and increase use of bio-based products

The Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies Group conducts research and development on high-performance bio-based composites as well as high-volume polymer and composite recycling practices that enable circular economies. Developing circular economies, where materials are put back into use rather than discarded, helps reduce the impact of manufacturing on climate change, mitigate waste and pollution, and reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels. Both recycled feedstocks and bio-based materials derived from forest products, agricultural waste, or even recycled cardboard offer a lower cost, carbon footprint, and overall embodied energy as compared to traditional single-use petroleum-based materials.

Additionally, widespread implementation of bio-based materials can increase demand for local feedstocks nationwide, enabling distributed manufacturing and benefiting local and rural economies. Simultaneously developing new recycling technologies and moving toward circular economies in manufacturing will reduce the current and forthcoming volume of waste, upcycle valuable materials, create a wealth of new domestic jobs, and lead the U.S. toward more efficient and environmentally friendly manufacturing practices to achieve sustainability. The group’s work has implications for mold fabrication, marine and automotive parts, building and construction, advanced recycling, wind turbine parts, packaging and transportation, and next-gen advanced manufacturing.



Research is supported by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.

Research Areas