Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 3/19/2024

Advancing Sustainable Chemistry

Chemistry is at the forefront of the transition into a more circular economy and can enable solutions that support the use of clean energy, renewable materials, and materials management [1]. However, current approaches to chemistry can have harmful impacts on human health and the environment. Research is needed on new chemical products and chemical processes that use energy and utilities more efficiently, ensure feedstocks are optimized, are strategically consumed and reused, and provide society with chemicals and manufacturing processes that are less harmful to human health and the environment. 

Sustainable chemistry produces compounds or materials with intentional design, manufacture, use, and end-of-life management. Across their lifecycle, sustainable chemicals promote circularity, meet societal needs, and contribute to economic resilience [1]. The introduction of more sustainable chemical products, processes, and technologies are needed to address emerging and growing challenges and opportunities for the economy, climate action, and environmental justice. This Request for Applications (RFA) is soliciting research for data, methods, and systems that lead to actionable, scalable change toward chemistry, chemicals, and products that support sustainable chemistry.

The Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program’s goal is to stimulate and support scientific and engineering research that advances EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. It is a competitive, peer-reviewed, extramural research program that provides access to the nation’s best scientists and engineers in academic and other nonprofit research institutions. STAR funds research on the environmental and public health effects of air quality, environmental changes, water quality and quantity, hazardous waste, toxic substances, and pesticides. 

Deadline: May 29, 2024

Areas of Interest

Applications should address at least two of the research areas described below.

1. Data Sharing Platforms:  Research in this area should aim to develop and/or expand next-generation data sharing platforms and tools to advance and implement sustainable chemistry.

2. New Approach Methodologies and Novel Data Streams: Research in this area should aim to develop, apply, and/or expand novel methods to design and/or evaluate chemicals (new or existing). Note: This research area is not seeking novel chemicals or compounds, but rather methodologies and data to advance sustainable chemistry and to reduce the life cycle impacts of chemical products and processes. 

3. Evaluation of Specific Life Stages of a Chemical: Research in this area should advance the application of life-cycle analysis (LCA) to drive and inform sustainable chemistry and its practices. 

Eligibility Requirements

Public and private nonprofit institutions/organizations, public and private institutions of higher education (IHEs), and hospitals located in the U.S. and its territories or possessions; state and local governments; Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; and U.S. territories or possessions are eligible to apply. Profit-making firms and individuals are not eligible to apply.

If an applicant submits more than one application under this announcement, each application must be submitted separately, and the scope of work proposed in each application must be significantly different from the other application(s) in order for them to all be deemed eligible. If applications are submitted with scopes of work that do not significantly differ, then EPA will only accept the most recently submitted application and all other applications will be deemed ineligible. 

Amount Description

The EPA anticipates funding approximately four awards under this RFA up to $1.5 million per award.