- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - The Idaho National Laboratory is planning to help research how to increase manufacturing efficiency.

The Idaho Falls lab will be part of the Reducing Embodied-energy and Decreasing Emissions Institute, managed by the U.S. Department of Energy, The Post Register reported (https://bit.ly/2iPZs1l).

The institute will be headquartered in Rochester, New York, but DOE officials say more than 100 private partners are involved and research will occur at a number of facilities across the country.

Eric Peterson, an INL researcher and manager, will lead one of four divisions within the new institute and INL researchers will focus on recycling and recovering metals, fibers, polymers and electronic waste.

INL will also team up with a paper manufacturer to study how to separate newspaper and cardboard from contaminates. Paper goods often have small particles of glass and plastic, Peterson said. Researchers hope to figure out how to “disentangle” the paper fibers from other recycling products in order to keep more paper products from being thrown away or burned.

Peterson said INL’s history of conducting nuclear separation and recycling research will be a key asset for the institute.

“INL helped to start this thing,” Peterson said of the institute. “It’s gone through a bunch of evolutions. We’ve invested for four years to get this whole thing off the ground.”

Peterson said it’s not yet known how much of that money INL will see for both conducting research and helping manage the institute.

DOE officials say the goal is to improve energy efficiency in recycling-related manufacturing by 50 percent over the next decade.

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Information from: Post Register, https://www.postregister.com

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