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Energy Department announces opening of Battery Recycling Centre at Argonne National Lab

The recycling centre aims to recover 90% of the key materials from EV batteries

In celebration of National Battery Day on February 18, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Daniel Simmons announced the opening of a Battery Recycling Centre at Argonne National Laboratory.

Aiming to reclaim and recycle critical materials (e.g., cobalt and lithium) from lithium-based battery technology, this recycling centre focuses on cost-effective recycling processes to recover as much economic value as possible from spent lithium-ion batteries.

“Partnering with the private sector, National Laboratories, and universities, the Battery Recycling Prize and R&D Centre will develop innovative technologies that recover and use recycled materials,” said Simmons. “These efforts will reduce our dependence on foreign sources of critical materials, strengthening America’s economic growth and energy security.”

The Energy Department’s Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize has also opened. Previously announced by Secretary Perry, the prize encourages American entrepreneurs to find innovative solutions to collecting, storing, and transporting discarded Li-ion batteries for eventual recycling.

It will award cash prizes totalling US$5.5 million to contestants in three progressive phases designed to accelerate the development of solutions from concept to prototype.

The goal of the Recycling Centre and Battery Recycling Prize is to develop technologies to profitably capture 90% of all lithium-based battery technologies in the US and recover 90% of the key materials from the collected batteries. Currently, Li-ion batteries are collected and recycled at a rate of less than 5%.

Commercially released in 1991, Li-ion batteries were initially used in individual portable devices. Li-ion batteries can now be found in laptops, mobile phones, electric vehicles, energy storage devices, and a variety of defence applications.

This work supports the department’s goal of providing consumers with a range of transportation and energy storage options that are affordable, reliable, and secure.

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