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Battery Recycling Prize names Phase II winners

The competition is designed to help find innovative solutions to collecting, storing and transporting lithium-ion batteries for eventual recycling.

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January 11, 2021

In mid-December of last year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the seven Phase II winners of the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize. The competition is designed to help find innovative solutions to collecting, storing and transporting lithium-ion batteries, such as those used in electric vehicles, for eventual recycling, with the goal of developing and demonstrating processes that at full scale could profitably capture 90 percent of discarded or spent lithium-based batteries in the United States, reintroducing key materials into the domestic supply chain.

"Lithium-ion batteries power our daily lives, but only 5 percent of spent lithium-ion batteries in the United States are recycled," says Daniel R Simmons, assistant secretary for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "The innovative battery recycling concepts being developed by these prize winners will improve our ability to give batteries a second life as well as recover resources to reuse time and time again."

Fourteen teams participated in Phase II of the prize, which focused on building industry partnerships to design, simulate and prototype a proof-of-concept solution. Phase II winners each receive a $357,000 cash prize, in addition to $100,000 in noncash vouchers to use at National Labs and approved organizations within the American-Made Challenges Network. These winners advance to the third and final phase of the prize, pilot validation.

Team (Location) Title
Li Industries (Blacksburg, Virginia) Smart Battery Sorting System
OnTo Technologies (Bend, Oregon) DISC: Deactivate, Identify, Sort, Cut
Powering the Future (Glendale, Wisconsin) Powering the Future
Renewance (Chicago) Renewance Connect
Smartville (San Diego) Smartville Battery Reuse & Recycling HUB System
Team Portables (Seattle) Reward to Recycle – Closing the Loop on Portables
Titan Advanced Energy Solutions (Sommerville, Massachusetts) Battago – Battery Market Intelligence Platform

The Battery Recycling Prize support DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge, which draws on the research capabilities of the DOE National Laboratories, universities and industry to accelerate development of energy-storage technologies.

The $5.5 million Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize was announced in January 2019. The prize is sponsored by the Vehicle Technologies Office and the Advanced Manufacturing Office. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory serves as the administrator of the prize. To learn more about the Battery Recycling Prize, please visit www.AmericanMadeChallenges.org/BatteryRecycling.