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ABTC awarded additional $10M in DOE funding for EV battery recycling

This additional funding will be used to accelerate development of advanced battery recycling techniques, the company says.

November 18, 2022

American Battery Technology Co. (ABTC), Reno, Nevada, says it has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to receive a grant award of $10 million under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to demonstrate and commercialize next-generation techniques for its lithium-ion battery (LIB) recycling process to produce low-cost and low-environmental impact domestic battery materials.

According to ABTC, it was one of five companies selected for the competitive funding under the battery recycling portion of the DOE’s “Electric Drive Vehicle Battery Recycling and Second Life Applications” opportunity. The company says the funding will be used to validate, test and deploy three advanced separation and processing technologies in its existing LIB recycling pilot plant to further enhance economic competitiveness, reduce environmental impact and reintegrate an even greater percentage of the constituent components to the domestic battery manufacturing market.

ABTC says it will work in partnership with Brisbane, Australia-based Novonix Group; the University of Nevada, Reno; the University of Utah; North Carolina State University; the Golden, Colorado-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory; the Lemont, Illinois-based Argonne National Laboratory; and the Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho. ABTC will rely on Japan-based Dainen Material and Novonix Group for additional downstream material validation.

The company says it will join its partners in contributing an additional $10 million in cost-share resources, bringing the total project investment to $20 million.

“Similar to the continuous development required of advanced lithium-ion battery technologies, the recycling of these batteries requires rigorous continuous improvement, optimization and commercialization efforts in order to advance the forefront of global innovation of these technologies,” ABTC CEO Ryan Melsert says. “We are excited to work with our diverse array of world-class partners throughout the private industry, public university and government laboratory sectors in order to optimize and commercialize these next generation of low-cost, low-environmental impact and domestically-implemented advanced techniques.”

ABTC says it is currently commissioning its integrated LIB recycling pilot plant in Fernley, Nevada, and the DOE funding will accelerate the demonstration and integration of next-generation advanced recycling techniques into the processing train. The company says it has developed enhanced separation and processing techniques that will allow the recovery of additional products and further reduction of energy and water consumption and lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. Through the DOE-supported project, ABTC and its partners will validate and optimize each of their advanced technologies at the bench scale, then manufacture qualification batches of these products for evaluation and testing by downstream partners, followed by the scale-up of these advanced systems for integration into ABTC’s recycling pilot plant.

In October, ABTC was selected for an additional DOE competitive award through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for approximately $57 million to support the construction of its commercial-scale primary lithium hydroxide manufacturing facility to develop its sedimentary claystone resource near Tonopah, Nevada. In 2021, the company, along with partners DuPont and the University of Nevada, Reno, was awarded a $4.5 million grant from the DOE to build and operate a multiton-per-day demonstration-scale system to accelerate the commercialization and scale-up of its lithium manufacturing technology.