The 836-square-meter lab will be at the same Austin facility as “Daisy,” an Apple-built robot that can now tear apart iPhones at the rate of 1.2 million per year.
The lab is part of Apple’s broader goal to make all of its products from recycled or renewable materials. Apple has not set a date for when it will reach that goal, though some products such as the MacBook Air already feature aluminum made from melted down iPhones traded in to Apple.
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social Initiatives, told Reuters the research will inform how Apple designs its products.
“I absolutely think that the learnings we make there will be for all of Apple, and hopefully for all of our sector, and of course will influence designers and engineers as we go forward,” Jackson said in an interview.