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EERE Announces 15 Phase I Winners of Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize at NREL

Sept. 25, 2019

Man in suit with microphone pointing off camera.
Daniel Simmons announced the initial winners of the competition during a visit to NREL, which is administering the contest. Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

Daniel Simmons, assistant secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), visited the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on Sept. 25 to announce the 15 winners of Phase I of the DOE Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize. Each winning team receives $67,000, for a total of $1 million awarded.

Dozens of innovators from around the United States submitted their ideas for the Prize, which aims to find end-to-end solutions for the recovery and recycling of batteries used in electric vehicles, consumer electronics, the power grid, and more.

An advisory review panel, comprised of industry, government, and academic experts, evaluated each entry in the competition based on innovativeness, impact, feasibility, and technical approach. Afterward, the scores were reviewed by a federal consensus panel from the Vehicle Technologies Office, the Advanced Manufacturing Office, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. A selection official made the final determination of the winners based on the feedback from each panel.

In total, the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize will award $5.5 million over the course of three phases, with the goal of capturing 90% of all discarded lithium-ion batteries in the United States for eventual recovery of key materials and re-introduction into the supply chain. The DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office and the Advanced Manufacturing Office sponsored the prize as part of the American-Made Challenges initiative. As the prize administrator, NREL serves a crucial role in supporting the development, launch, outreach, communications, and networking for the competition. Members of the NREL Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center led the execution and implementation of the Prize.

The winners of Phase I are:

Team Name Entry Title Location Track
Admiral Instruments Battery Sorting with Voltammetry & Impedance Data Tempe, AZ Separation and Sorting
EEDD Battery Self Cooling for Safe Recycling Huntsville, AL Safe Storage and Transportation
Holman Parts Distribution Holman Parts Reverse Logistics Recycling Solution Pennsauken, NJ Collection*
Li Industries Smart Battery Sorting System Blacksburg, VA Separation and Sorting
LIBIoT Innovative Battery Collection System by Lithium-Ion Battery Internet-of-Things (LIBIoT) Albany, NY Collection
OnTo Technology Li-ion Identification Bend, OR Separation and Sorting
Powering the Future Banking Today's Materials to Power Tomorrow Glendale, WI Collection
Renewance Reverse Logistics Marketplace Chicago, IL Reverse Logistics*
Smartville Distributed Battery Conditioning HUB San Diego, CA Reverse Logistics
SNT Laser Focused Utilizing Laser Cutting for Efficient Battery Pack Dismantling Oklahoma City, OK Other Ideas
Store Packs Umicore Development of Four US Collection & Storage Sites for Lithium-Ion Automotive Battery Packs Raleigh, NC Collection
Team EVBs A Circular Economy for Electric Vehicle Batteries Seattle, WA Other Ideas
Team Portables Reward to Recycle – Closing the Loop on Portables Seattle, WA Other Ideas
Team RRCO Composite Discharge Media Madison, AL Safe Storage and Transportation
Titan AES IonView-Ultrasonic LIB Automated State of Health 1 second test Somerville, MA Separation and Sorting

* DOE reassigned the submissions to a different track per page 6 of the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize Official Rules.

The Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize is just one of the American-Made Challenges offered by the DOE to incentivize the nation’s entrepreneurs to reassert American leadership in the energy marketplace. These new challenges seek to lower the barriers U.S. innovators face in reaching manufacturing scale by accelerating the cycles of learning from years to weeks, while helping to create partnerships that connect entrepreneurs to the private sector and the network of DOE’s national laboratories across the nation. Learn more about these American-Made Challenges at this website.