DARPA Seeks System to Produce Resources From Recycled Waste

Jeff Brody

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched an effort to develop scalable resource production systems that use military waste as base materials. The ReSource program aims to produce systems that convert waste into on-demand supplies such as chemical lubricants, food and water as needed, DARPA said Wednesday.

The agency's Biological Technologies Office leads the effort. Blake Bextine, program manager at BTO, designed ReSource to address the supply needs of humanitarian relief efforts and Special Operations Forces' expeditionary missions.

“We hope to give troops the ability to extend their time in field, expand their operational flexibility or stabilize at-risk populations by taking advantage of almost any resource on hand,” Bextine said.

The program's resulting system would work to break down input waste such as plastic-based polymers, reassemble organic molecules into required substances and retrieve purified products. The system would also produce food out of macronutrients. DARPA will present more information on ReSource during a proposer's day event on Aug. 29 in Phoenix, Ariz.

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