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DOE awarding $2M to 8 projects to enhance lithium-ion battery recycling and remanufacturing

The US Department of Energy’s Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) has selected eight projects, which have been awarded a combined total of $2 million, to drive innovation in lithium-ion battery (LIB) rejuvenation, recycling, and reuse administered through the ReCell Center located at Argonne National Laboratory.

Through this investment, AMMTO will form Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) between the National Laboratories that are part of the ReCell Center and industry partners to perform research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects. These CRADA projects require a 50% cost share between DOE and private partners.

The selected projects were chosen from two topic areas:

Topic Area: Development of Room Temperature Process for Recycling and Reuse of Electrodes. 5 awards, $1.25 million in funding, all awards $250,000.

Lead /
Argonne Lab /
Cirba Solutions
Lithium recovery from process solutions. Argonne has developed technologies to recover lithium from solution and will work with Cirba Solutions to recover lithium from their commercial LIB recycling processes. The goal of the project is to cost-effectively turn the recovered lithium into a battery grade product that can be returned to the battery supply chain.
Argonne Lab /
Li Industries
Improving processes for directly recycling Li-ion phosphate batteries. Li Industries has established methods for sorting and recycling batteries to achieve high quality LIBs feedstocks to directly produce battery-grade lithium nickel cobalt manganese oxide (NCM) and lithium iron phosphate (LFP). Working with Argonne, the goal of the project is to further develop cost-effective processes to directly recycle LFP LIBs through sorting, separation, and regeneration.
Oak Ridge Lab /
Nth Cycle
Cost-competitive process of battery-grade oxides preparation from aged LIBs. Nth CYcle and ORNL will work to selectively precipitate metal hydroxides from aged cathode materials using a novel electro-extraction method. This method is based on the use of flow-through porous electrodes and sequential electro-extractions. The goal of the project will be to recover metal hydroxide precipitates and be evaluated as precursor cathode active materials (pCAM) for use in manufacturing LIBs.
Koura Global
Up-cycling for re-manufacturability: Morphological engineering of graphite for high-rate performance. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Koura Global will repair and upgrade the morphology of first-generation spent graphite to meet modern performance requirements. The goal of the project is to produce “upcycled” graphite that is a viable alternative to pristine graphite by optimizing mechanical and mechano-chemical approaches.
StoragEnergy Technologies
Atmospheric Plasma for cathode re-lithiation and upcycling. NREL and StoragEnergy Technologies Inc. will use a one-step atmospheric microplasma reaction to remove electrolyte degradation products and relithiate end-of-life cathode materials. The goal of the project is to reduce the number of steps and time necessary for the direct recycling of battery components.

Topic Area: Recycling of Electrolytes. 3 awards, $750,000 in funding, all awards $250,000.

Lead /
Austin Elements
Isolation and conversion of electrolyte components into a value-added products. Austin Elements and ORNL will utilize ORNL expertise to recycle electrolyte from end-of-life batteries. The goal of the project is to reduce environmental hazards, understand the fundamental differences between pristine and recycled electrolyte components, and effectively separate value-added products, such as glycol and LiF.
Idaho Natl Lab /
American Battery Technology Company
Dimethyl ether-driven extraction of electrolyte and solid electrolyte interphase from end-of-life lithium-ion batteries. Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the American Battery Technology Company (ABTC) will develop and advance new methods to extract valuable, currently unrecovered electrolyte components. The goal of the project is to develop environmentally conscious methods to remove electrolyte from end-of-life LIBs and recover intact electrolyte components including organic solvents and inorganic lithium salts.
Idaho Natl Lab /Koura Global
Recovery and rejuvenation of f-containing salts from Li-ion batteries. INL and Koura Global will advance new methods to upcycle extracted electrolyte components. The goal of the project is to develop methods for recovering, classifying, quantifying, and upcycling electrolyte components through a combination of extraction and synthetic routes.


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