Today, the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize released the official rules for the third and final phase of the Department of Energy (DOE) funded $5.5 million competition. The goal of this prize is to develop and demonstrate processes that, when scaled, have the potential to profitably capture 90% of all discarded or spent lithium-based batteries (LIBs) in the United States, and re-introduce key materials into the U.S. supply chain. During Phase III of the prize, the seven Phase II winning teams will be eligible to implement a pilot validation of the end-to-end solutions developed in Phase I and expanded upon in Phase II.

"This prize encourages American entrepreneurs to find innovative solutions to collecting, storing, and transporting discarded lithium-ion batteries for eventual recycling, improving our ability to give batteries a second life as well as recover resources to reuse time and time again," said Daniel R Simmons, DOE Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.  "We are excited to see these teams implement a pilot validation of their concepts, bringing these exciting technologies one step closer to deployment." 

The seven Phase II winning teams are eligible to participate in Phase III of this prize. In this final phase, each team is expected to demonstrate their ability to recover LIBs and verify the feasibility of achieving the end-to-end solution’s projected impact when fully scaled. These teams will continue to partner with industry experts and DOE’s National Laboratories through the American-Made Challenge Network voucher service program. Voucher funds are used to support the demonstration of the pilot validation during the Phase III contest. Up to four final winners of Phase III will receive up to $2,000,000, distributed equally among the winners.

The Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize was announced in January 2019. The prize is sponsored by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Vehicle Technologies Office and the Advanced Manufacturing Office. The prize complements DOE’s research being conducted at the ReCell Lithium Battery Recycling R&D Center, as well as efforts to develop the next generation of advanced electric vehicle battery technologies that significantly reduce cost, weight, volume, and dependence on critical materials such as cobalt. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) serves as the administrator of the prize. Learn more about the Battery Recycling Prize.