Argonne National Laboratory gains battery recycling center

Published on February 20, 2019 by Douglas Clark

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Department of Energy (DOE) officials recently announced the opening of a Battery Recycling Center at Argonne National Laboratory, with the overarching goal of reclaiming and recycling critical energy materials.

The recycling site would focus on cost-effective 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 Center will develop innovative technologies that recover and use recycled materials,” Daniel Simmons, assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), said. “These efforts will reduce our dependence on foreign sources of critical materials, strengthening America’s economic growth and energy security.”

In conjunction with the recycling center, officials unveiled the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize, which encourages American entrepreneurs to find innovative solutions to collecting, storing and transporting discarded lithium-ion batteries for eventual recycling, and awards cash prizes totaling $5.5 million to contestants in three progressive phases designed to accelerate the development of solutions from concept to prototype.

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

The recycling center and Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize are in accordance with the DOE’s goal of providing consumers with a range of transportation and energy storage options that are affordable, reliable, and secure, according to officials.