First national lithium-ion battery recycling R&D center launched

With lithium-ion battery technology expanding across the world, through electronics, Electric Vehicles and stationary storage, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have launched the  first lithium-ion battery recycling center, called the ReCell Center, at Argonne National Laboratory. DOE says the center will help the U.S. grow a globally competitive recycling industry and reduce the country’s reliance on foreign sources of battery materials.

According to DOE, recycled materials from lithium-ion batteries can be reused in new batteries, reducing production costs by 10 to 30 percent, which could help lower the overall cost of EV batteries to DOE’s goal of $80 per kilowatt-hour. 

The center will focus on four key research areas to enable profitable lithium-ion battery recycling for industry adoption: 

  • A direct cathode recycling focus will develop recycling processes that generate products that go directly back into new batteries without the need for costly reprocessing;
  • A focus to recover other materials will work to create technologies that cost effectively recycle other battery materials, providing additional revenue streams;
  • Design for recycling will develop new battery designs optimized to make future batteries easier to recycle; and
  • Modeling and analysis tools will be developed and utilized to help direct an efficient path of R&D and to validate the work performed within the center.