DOE Opens Battery Recycling Center at Argonne National Laboratory

The goal is to reclaim and recycle critical materials such as cobalt and lithium from lithium-based batteries cost effectively.

On National Battery Day, Feb. 18, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel Simmons announced the opening of a battery recycling center at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill. The goal is to reclaim and recycle critical materials such as cobalt and lithium from lithium-based batteries cost effectively.

Also announced Feb. 18 is the U.S. Department of Energy's $5.5 million Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize, introduced to encourage American entrepreneurs to find innovative solutions to collecting, storing, and transporting discarded lithium-ion batteries for eventual recycling. The cash prizes will be awareded to contestants in three progressive phases designed to accelerate the development of solutions from concept to prototype.

"Partnering with the private sector, national laboratories, and universities, the Battery Recycling Prize and R&D Center will develop innovative technologies that recover and use recycled materials," Simmons said. "These efforts will reduce our dependence on foreign sources of critical materials, strengthening America's economic growth and energy security."

The goal of the Argonne center and the Battery Recycling Prize is to develop technologies to profitably capture 90 percent of all lithium-based battery technologies in the United States and recover 90 percent of the key materials from the collected batteries. Currently, lithium-ion batteries are collected and recycled at a rate of less than 5 percent, according to DOE.

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