American-Made Challenges

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Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize

Identify innovative solutions for collecting, sorting, storing, and transporting spent lithium-ion batteries.

This challenge is closed

stage:
Submission Deadline
prize:
$5.5 million in total prizes

This challenge is closed

Overview

Challenge Overview

Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize

Innovation happens when the right resources, people, and passion come together to address a challenge. With the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize, teams of creative individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses will advance conceptual solutions to prototypes and finally to pilot validations to address challenges with the lithium-ion battery recycling supply chain. The goal of this $5.5-million phased prize competition is to develop and demonstrate processes that, when scaled, have the potential to capture 90% of all discarded or spent lithium-ion batteries in the United States for eventual recovery of key materials for re-introduction into the U.S. supply chain.

 

Phase III: Pilot Validation

In Phase III, the seven winning teams will demonstrate their ability to recover LIBs and verify the feasibility of achieving the end-to-end solution’s projected impact when fully scaled. Teams received up to $100,000 in vouchers to partner with industry experts and DOE’s National Laboratories through the American-Made Challenge Network to support their pilot validation. 

 

 

$5.5 million in incentives for innovation

The three phases of contests will fast-track efforts to find innovative solutions to solve current challenges associated with collecting, sorting, storing, and transporting spent/discarded lithium-ion batteries for eventual recycling.

 

Who can compete

Per the Phase III Rules, only Phase II winners may compete in Phase III. This is due to the structure of the contest, which allows participants to advance their solutions further in each phase. 

Interested parties can still participate in the contest by either partnering with a winning team to compete in Phase III. Other prize opportunities are available within the American-Made Challenge Network.  

 

For more information about the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize, refer to the official rules.

Guidelines

Challenge Guidelines

Official rules:

The Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize competition consists of three progressive phases. View the official rules for Phase II.  

The rules for Phase III will be available at a later date.  Phase I rules have been archived, but may be accessed here.

 

Watch this informational webinar for an overview of the rules, goals, timing, and submission tracks for the prize.

For multiple track submissions:

Eligible teams/participants can participate in and submit innovations for multiple prize tracks; however, eligible teams/participants are required to select a single track per submission and are limited to one solution per submission. Eligible teams/participants who would like to apply to multiple tracks need to submit separate solution packages for each track to which they apply.

Timeline
Updates 19

Challenge Updates

Finalist: Distributed Battery Conditioning for Reuse with HUB Facilities

Aug. 26, 2021, 10:30 a.m. PDT by Battery Recycling Prize

One of the core challenges of lithium-ion battery recovery is the cost of safely collecting, sorting and transporting the spent batteries to reuse applications or recycling facilities. Smartville is addressing this challenge through the development of heterogenous unifying battery (HUB) facilities at distributed locations for advanced screening and conditioning. Smartville’s HUB facilities will create value within the reverse logistics supply chain by cost-effectively qualifying used batteries to enable safe, reliable, and economic repurposing of these assets for utility-scale and customer-sited energy storage applications prior to ultimate end-of-life recycling.

“Our HUB system meets the economic demands of reverse logistics by consolidating the lithium-ion battery collection to distributed locations, minimizing the transportation costs and risks within the supply chain,” explained Smartville Team Captain Mike Ferry. 

Smartville is developing a streamlined process for screening, conditioning, and repurposing operations at the HUB facilities, aided by Renewance and Spiers New Technology as collection, logistics, and recycling partners. Any batteries with consistent remaining life will be captured and integrated by Smartville for second-use applications. The HUB facilities ensure efficiency in reverse logistics by serving as a one-stop location for lithium-ion battery collection, sorting, storage, conditioning, second-life reuse, and recycling.

For the third and final phase of the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize, Smartville is conducting a pilot demonstration of the Modular Assembly Battery (MOAB) systems, an essential component to repurposing spent lithium-ion batteries for stationary storage. The MOAB, enabled by its proprietary power electronics and balancing control, provides a universal platform for assessing and repurposing battery packs of different makes and models, and serves as the scalable building block for Smartville’s hybrid repurposing and recycling HUB facility. Within the next five years, Smartville plans to deploy two HUB facilities in the U.S. to provide services in locations with high lithium-ion battery recycling needs, achieving annual battery processing capacity of over 25,000 metric tons. Whether or not the batteries are repurposed, the HUB facility will be able to track and recycle batteries at the end of life to meet DOE’s rate of recycling target of 90%. 

For more information on the Smartville HUB facility and MOAB building block, contact Mike Ferry at .


Finalist: A Reverse Logistics Marketplace with Renewance Connect

Aug. 19, 2021, 1:29 p.m. PDT by Battery Recycling Prize

With the development of Renewance Connect, a purpose-built digital platform for tracking and managing batteries throughout their lifecycle, the Renewance team is putting the power to recycle back into the hands of lithium-ion battery consumers. Through Renewance Connect, parties with end-of-life batteries have convenient access to reuse and recycling services from qualified parties that can recover spent lithium-ion batteries in the most competitive, eco-friendly, and regulatory compliant manner. In addition, the platform allows users to prioritize cost, timing, and environmental impact of the potential recovery solutions.

"Renewance Connect provides efficient end-to-end reverse logistics for reuse and recycling through optimized on-demand services," explained Renewance Team Captain Thomas Newhall "This strategy maximizes recovery rates in a fully traceable, environmentally sound, and cost-effective manner."

To accomplish this vision, Renewance Connect leverages the existing infrastructure alongside cradle-to-grave asset tracking to optimize the recycling supply chain. The Renewance team works with stakeholders throughout the supply chain, such as battery manufacturers, collection services, state-of-health assessment, and reuse or recycling organizations. This unique cradle-to-grave strategy also informs industrial battery owners of their asset retirement obligations at the beginning of the battery lifecycle. 

In Phase III of the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize, Renewance focuses on further platform development and validation efforts for stationary storage and electric vehicle applications. Renewance is collaborating with Argonne National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to refine the platform's environmental impact and reuse value analysis. When fully scaled, Renewance Connect will be able to track the number of lithium-ion batteries active in the marketplace, as well as the recovery rate over time. 

To learn more about the Renewance Connect, contact Thomas Newhall at .


Phase III Participants Featured in North Carolina Department of Energy Quality Webinar

Aug. 16, 2021, 2:28 p.m. PDT by Battery Recycling Prize

On Wednesday, August 4, 2021, four of the Phase III participating teams accepted an invitation to present in a Prize-focused webinar hosted by the North Carolina Department of Energy Quality (NC DEQ). This voluntary networking event allowed teams to present their concept solutions and receive feedback from stakeholders and industry experts to inform their plans for the Phase III Final Submission.

We would like to thank NC DEQ and the four featured teams for joining this collaborative webinar to further develop these concepts in support of the U.S. Department of Energy goal to capture 90% of all discarded or spent lithium-based batteries in the U.S. for eventual recovery of key materials for re-introduction into the U.S. supply chain. 

 


Finalist Highlight: Banking Today's Materials to Power the Future

July 15, 2021, 10:40 a.m. PDT by Battery Recycling Prize

The efficient recycling of lithium-ion batteries will rely on strong market infrastructure. Clarios' existing lead-acid battery collection network provides the necessary backbone to ensure this recycling process is sustainable and enduring. The "Powering the Future" team assembled by Clarios includes industry partners and experts to implement safe handling of spent and discarded lithium-ion batteries. 

"Clarios is uniquely positioned to be a player in the lithium recycling economy," said Power the Future team captain Michael Sendelbach. "Our solution highlights how our commitment to sustainable life-cycle management can provide a scalable answer for end-of-life and second-life battery solutions."

Clarios plans to implement a closed-loop economy through five distinct stages: batter collection, sorting and diagnoses, separation and packaging, transportation, and recycling. At each step in this process, the team has partnered with industry experts to provide state-of-the-art solutions, including Global Battery Solutions, Admiral Instruments, Environmental Restoration, and more. By coordinating between organizations, Clarios can adapt its process to distinct subgroups of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries. 

The Power the Future solution implemented a successful trial run in Phase II of the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize. In Phase III, the team plans to incorporate hardware and packaging solutions for a pilot-scale demonstration. In addition, Clarios will be collaborating with Voucher Service Providers from the American-Made Network to expand cost modeling tools to guide future implementation. 

To learn more about Powering the Future, contact or .


Finalist Highlight: DISC Solution from OnTo Technology

July 8, 2021, 9:15 a.m. PDT by Battery Recycling Prize

Before lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) can be safely transported for eventual recycling, the hazardous materials within these batteries must be deactivated. To address this problem, OnTo Technology has created a DISC Solution—which stands for "deactivate, identify, sort, and cut"—to minimize risks from shipping LIBs. This solution will sort batteries based on cathode chemistry using automated technology, then deactivated to neutralize flammability and chemical hazards. 

"OnTo Technology is leveraging our existing cathode-healing™ direct recycling technologies to meet the challenges that currently exist within the LIB supply chain," explained OnTo Technology team captain Lauren Crandon. "A major advantage of DISC is the ability to ship large quantities of inert, sorted, identified material at a low cost."

To disassemble and "cut" the battery packs, modules, and cells, OnTo Technology has partnered with Shape Technologies Group to implement precision cutting technology. This safe and effective method will use automated disassembly to transform end-of-life lithium-ion batteries into high-yield sorted electrode materials and clean foils. 

The implementation of the DISC Solution involves regional processing facilities at strategic locations around the country. This will allow the team to transport the resulting harvested electrode material to various destination recycling facilities. In Phase III, of the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize, OnTo Technology is developing an initial pilot demonstration to show how this solution can process an average of 360 tons of spent or discarded LIBs per year. Within six years, OnTo Technology plans to scale this solution to process 86,400 tons per year, meeting the ambitious Prize goal of 90% of the existing market. 

To learn more about the DISC Solution, contact


Forum 38
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Resources
FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Each of the seven Phase II winning teams may receive up to $100,000 in voucher funding to use with the VSPs designated in their Phase II submissions. This amount will not be adjusted based on the number of Phase II winning teams across the labs. Each team may use voucher funds with up to three VSPs and may not exceed a total amount of $100,000. At least $50,000 must be utilized with a national lab VSP, and the minimum amount for any voucher work is $10,000. Phase III participants may seek additional support from VSPs that may exceed $100,000 but must be funded by that team and will not be eligible for the use of voucher prize funding. 

Due to continued travel restrictions and unknown future guidance on travel, we have not been able to designate a specific time frame. The Prize Administrators predicts the visits will likely be conducted between Jan-March 2022, with the continued potential of being a virtual visit.

Due to continued travel restrictions and unknown future guidance on travel, we have not been able to designate exactly who will attend the site visit. It is not likely to exceed a party of five attendees. 

Each visit will be proposed by the Prize Administrators after reviewing the Progress Updates.

We appreciate your patience with the ambiguity of the site visit. We will provide detailed information to the teams as soon as we possibly can. In summary, the visit will likely take place sometime between Jan-March 2022 at a location and date proposed by the Prize Administrators after reviewing the Progress Updates and will not likely exceed a party of five attendees. 

You can find all of the entries here on HeroX at on the Entries page. We have also added a new Partners page highlighting the winning teams and their contact information. Winning teams must provide the Prize Administrator with a signed consent form to have their contact information added to the Partners page

Partnering is simply a way to strengthen your submission for Phase II and to provide a more comprehensive solution to the battery logistics issue. As stated in the rules, partnering is not a requirement, however, it is encouraged, due to the variety of skill sets needed to comprehensively address this issue.

A maximum of 15 projects will be considered and they must have the same "team name" as the 15 winning submissions. No additional entries will be accepted. 

Yes. Groups that did not win in Phase I can partner with winning teams to submit a concept for Phase II. In order to be eligible for Phase II, a submission must include one of the leading team members from a winning team.  Visit the Entries tab to see all Phase I entries. 

Over the next nine months we will be showcasing the capabilities available at the National Labs through this voucher program. We plan to have representatives of these National Labs give a short presentation of these capabilities at the Demo Days partnering event on June 3. 

You can always email or post on the forum for answers to any questions that come up during Phase II.  

You can only lead one but you can participate in multiple submissions. This will be clarified in the upcoming Partnering Webinar on March 11, 2020.  

It is up to your team to determine the agreement between your partnerships. Each Phase II winning submission will receive one check to distribute among partners accordingly. The Prize Administrator will not be involved in inter-partnership disputes.  To elaborate further, we will be hosting an in-depth Partnering Webinar on March 11, 2020. 

Generally Universities are either non-profit organizations or part of a state government.  If this is the case with your university, then the university is not an eligible entity to compete.  One way for competitors to submit a submission package under an eligible entity would be to create a business entity by incorporating, or otherwise forming a legal business entity through the Secretary of State of a state of your choice.  

Voucher funds are reimbursed expenses that are redeemed, they are not considered direct funding by the Prize. Phase II winners are encouraged to consult a tax expert to confirm when determining their income. 

Teams are not required to work with any national labs, however, they will only be able to use up to one half of the awarded voucher funds at business organizations. For example, if you receive $100,000 voucher funds, then you will only be able to use a maximum of $50,000 at business organizations. Teams will lose any voucher funds they do not use. 

A template will be provided outlining the Phase II submission required components. These sections will match what is provided in "What to Submit" beginning on page 12 of the Phase II Rules and Scoring Criteria. The final submission will include a 15-page Proof of Concept and Partnering Narrative as well as a recorded video of concept validation, no more than three minutes long. 

Vouchers are intended to enable participating teams to consult expertise outside of their own organization. Participating teams cannot select the leading business entity of their own team as a VSP. Participating teams may identify partnering entities and other team’s leading businesses as VSPs if they have been approved to join the AMC network.

The Curriculum Vitae (CV) and partner descriptions should provide a history of academic credentials and/or a description of skills and qualifications of each member/partner.  CVs and partner descriptions should be limited to one page per team member and will not count toward the page limit.

Submissions are not required to identify a specific destination facility. However, as clarified on page 15 of the Phase II Rules, the end-to end solution will be scored on “a robust, well-articulated approach to deploy and test a pilot-scale end-to-end solution successfully in Phase III.” Teams are encouraged to be as specific as possible in their submissions. 

The projected recovery of LIBs and the completed table included on page 14 of the Phase II Rules under Impact Modeling are the baseline projections for each solution concept and should incorporate the 2018 sales data as described in the Appendix. Additional impact projections may be provided separately within the final submission, within the 15-page limit, where the calculations and assumptions will be considered by each judge. 

No, there is no template for that letter. The Prize Administrator does recommend that the Letter of Commitment from the entity be on an official letterhead.

Each team can designate up to three people to present and participate in the judges Q&A session. Additional team members, partners, and guests can be invited by the designated presenter(s) to listen in on the presentation as muted attendees. 

The Participants Day presentation is an invite-only event and will not be open to the public or other competing teams (unless they have been invited by the team presenting). The designated Presenters from Phase II online submissions will each be provided a unique link for their team’s presentation. In addition, Presenters will receive an attendee link to share with partners, teammates, and guests as they see fit. Each presentation will include up to three presenters per team, a panel of judges, and members of the Prize Administration Team.

Yes, but it’s quick and easy. Just click the “Accept Challenge” button on this page and follow the instructions to complete your registration. All you need to provide is your name and email address.

If you have a question not answered in the FAQ, we recommend that you post it in the Forum where someone will respond to you. This way, others who may have the same question will be able to see it.

Or, you may contact a challenge administrator directly at BatteryRecyclingPrize@nrel.gov

Thank you for submitting your question to the forum on Battery Recycling Prize. We value your participation and will do our best to respond to your questions/concerns within five to seven business days. We thank you for your patience and interest.

Unfortunately, a national laboratory cannot compete.  But individuals from a national laboratory can win an award provided he/she is NOT competing in an official capacity of the laboratory.

No, if you are a contest winner you are receiving the prize for meeting or exceeding the contest goals. 


 

If you encounter an issue when attempting to submit an entry to the challenge, you may need to contact HeroX or the Prize Administrator.

You may try to connect with HeroX using the online form which appears in the bottom right corner of your browser window, it says Leave a Message.

You may also send a message to the Prize Administrator inbox at challenge@nrel.gov.

Please allow at least 1 business day for a response. 

The Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Office and Advanced Manufacturing Office and administered and executed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
 

No. Lead-acid batteries are already collected and recycled at a rate of 99%. However, lithium-ion batteries are only collected and recycled at a rate of less than 5% so we are looking for innovative ideas to cost effectively and efficiently recycle critical materials from lithium-ion batteries.

Yes. We encourage you to promote your technology to schools, battery companies, local electronics organizations and other technical outlets.

For Phase I, yes, you may submit one solution that focuses on one of the tracks.

Eligible teams/participants can participate in and submit innovations for multiple prize tracks; however, eligible teams/participants are required to select a single track per submission and are limited to one solution per submission. Eligible teams/participants who would like to apply to multiple tracks need to submit separate solution packages for each track to which they apply.

Both U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents are eligible to apply as individuals. In the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. All business entities must be incorporated in the United States and conduct any work on the prize in the United States. As authority to conduct this prize comes from a U.S. statute (15 U.S.C. 3719), the rules must comply with the eligibility requirements contained in the statute.

We recommend that you view this video in the HeroX Knowledge Base (https://www.herox.com/help/153-team-forming-and-submitting-an-entry?search=true). Please let us know if you have additional questions that you weren't able to have answered by watching the video.

Participants may partner with any non-federal entities and/or organizations, so long as submissions adhere to the Official Rules. Individuals and teams seeking experts to partner with may visit the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize Community page within HeroX and click on the “Team Matching” button.

Federal entities and federal employees are also not eligible to win any prize contests in this program. Federal grantees may not use federal funds to develop submissions. Federal contractors may not use federal funds from a contract to develop prize competition submissions or to fund efforts in support of a prize competition submission. A participating entity shall not be deemed ineligible because the entity used federal facilities or consulted with federal employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made available to all entities participating in the competition on an equitable basis.

Yes, you may be a stakeholder in two different submissions. A person/team/entity may serve as a participant in multiple submissions. Each submission should cover only one proposed solution per track.  If a participant has multiple distinct solutions (ideas, concepts) per track, they should describe them in separate submissions. 

 

Unfortunately, no.   This prize focuses on the collection, sorting, storing, and transporting of spent/discarded lithium-ion batteries for eventual recycling.  Technical processes to recover valuable components after the delivery of end-of-life batteries to recycling centers are beyond the scope of this particular competition.

The recording of the April 10, 2019 webinar at https://www.herox.com/BatteryRecyclingPrize/resource/335. The zip file contains the webinar recording, slides, and transcript.

Local governments are eligible to apply and win awards provided that they do not use federal funds to develop concepts and submission packages.

The aim of Track 1 Collection is to significantly increase the amount of batteries collected through distribution networks, collection points, incentivizing approaches, promotion, marketing, education, and many aspects of human behavior. Track 4 Reverse Logistics is for moving those collected batteries from collection sites to the recycling facilities in the most efficient, optimized, and cost-effective ways.

You may submit multiple submissions across multiple tracks.  Each submission should cover only one proposed solution per track.  If a participant has multiple distinct solutions (ideas, concepts) per track, they should describe them in separate submissions. 

As this is a prize, participants are free to use the funding they receive for any phase in this contest for anything they deem appropriate. 

Only one image can be uploaded in the HeroX submission form. However, if you have multiple images, you can include them as part of your 5-10-page proposal.

The rules specifically prohibit any lobbying activity, which would include advocacy for changes in legislation.

DOE/NREL staff cannot give feedback on individual team’s ideas while the competition is open as this could provide an unfair advantage to teams receiving such feedback.  DOE also reserves the right to place a submission in a separate track than identified by the participant. 

 

All teams must be comprised of otherwise eligible individuals or organizations who are U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

A template for the proposal can be found on the Resources page of the HeroX website. The rules require that proposals be submitted in PDF format. The Summary Slide in PowerPoint should be submitted in PDF format, too.

Previous winners of DOE grants for EV battery programs are eligible to receive these funds provided that previous federal funds are not used to develop and incubate concept submissions.

The Department of Energy's intent here is to motivate American innovators to develop and demonstrate profitable business and technology strategies to significantly increase collection of lithium-ion batteries.

Currently, lithium-ion batteries are only recycled at a rate of less than 5% in the U.S. The current recycling supply chain for collecting, sorting, storing, transporting, and recycling of lithium-ion batteries is limited, which is where the motivation for the prize came from.

The reviewers will be from industry, academia, relevant government agencies, local and state agencies, and other subject matter experts. Reviewers shall not have affiliation with the participants that will create a conflict of interest and will be required to sign conflict of interest and non-disclosure agreements. 

The prize focuses on the logistics before the actual recycling step, including the collection, sorting, storing, and transporting of spent/discarded lithium-ion batteries for eventual recycling. Technical processes to recover valuable components after the delivery of end-of-life batteries to recycling centers are beyond the scope of this project and will not be considered.

University students are encouraged to apply, either as an individual or as a university team! Please see page 19 and 20 of the Rules document for more information on eligibility, such as U.S. citizenship and permanent residency.

No, the main focus of this activity is collection and recycling of lithium-ion batteries. 

Participants may submit multiple submissions across multiple tracks.  Each submission should cover only one proposed solution per track.  If a participant has multiple distinct solutions (ideas, concepts) per track, they should describe them in separate submissions. 

Unfortunately, no. As authority to conduct this prize comes from a U.S. statute (15 U.S.C. 3719), the rules must comply with the eligibility requirements contained in the statute. Only U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents are eligible to apply.  In the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. All business entities must be incorporated in the United States and conduct any work on the prize in the United States.

A sponsor is an entity that is not participating in developing an applicant’s solution but who can provide support to the applicant/participant in a number of ways, including, but not limited to: serving on the advisory board, providing letters of support for the proposal as there is value in the outcome of the proposed solution, indicating plan to partner during Phase II or III of the prize (if the applicant is a Phase I winner), or even providing (non-federal) in-kind or cash contributions. In your submission, you may provide information as to how a sponsor has been engaged in supporting your submission.

The maximum of ten pages for the proposal includes the following sections: Executive Summary, Team Composition and External Support, Market Validation and Analysis, Planned Execution and Allocation of Funds, and Detailed Technical Explanation. The cover sheet/page, bibliography, citations (references), and any letters of support from companies will not count toward the ten-page limit. (Please refer to pages 18-19 of the Official Rules Document).

Thank you for your question. To eliminate any apparent conflicting statements, the Competitor Agreement has been replaced with the Official Rules Document that describes the rules of the challenge.

A team leader can submit multiple submissions to one or more tracks on behalf of the team. This is allowed by the rules. To submit multiple submissions for a single team, follow this process:

  • Register on HeroX,
  • Create a team,
  • Click the Accept the Challenge button,
  • Enter a submission (input required information and upload supporting files),
  • Submit the submission,
  • Click on the option that allows you to preview your first submission (which allows for editing and changes to the submission if needed), then
  • From this screen you will see a button labeled “Begin Another Entry”  Click on this button to prepare and preview the additional second submission.

Please be sure that you submit your submissions. Teams may submit multiple submissions for the same track, with different ideas or concepts addressing that topic.

Participants can be a member/team leader on multiple teams, but they will have to create a new and separate HeroX user account, using a different email address, for each team they wish to participate on and/or lead. Unfortunately, HeroX will only allow a single user to participate on one team. If a user is added to a second team, that user will be removed from the original team they joined. We thank the participants for their understanding and diligence working within the software. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

See footnote number 10 on page 6 of the Rules. 90% recovery means 90% of individual batteries produced: out of 10 batteries produced, 9 are recovered and delivered to a recycler. This 90% applies to solutions for individual market sectors (consumer electronics, electric vehicles (EV), industrial, grid, etc.) as well. 

As indicated on page 18 of the Official Rules, the Team Composition and External Support section should provide information on individual member biographies, team experience and qualifications, external advisers (e.g., a board), or external sponsorship. The reason for the ten-page limit is for a more efficient review process given the size of the Phase I award (minimum of $40,000 per submission). The proposal should stand on its own and not on any external materials such as LinkedIn profiles or other URLs. Concise member biographies and entity profiles are expected in this section. 

The Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize is focused on identifying innovative solutions for collecting, sorting, storing, and transporting all spent and discarded lithium-ion batteries.  Ideas and prototypes focused on developing and producing new battery designs and chemistries are not within the scope of this Recycling Prize.

Today less than 5 percent of spent lithium-ion batteries are collected for recycling. The lithium ion battery prize is designed to bridge the gap to recovering and recycling 90% of all end-of-the-life lithium-ion batteries.  The goal of the prize is to incentivize American entrepreneurs (including existing companies involved in lithium-ion recycling logistics) to develop and demonstrate processes that, when scaled, have the potential to profitably capture 90% of all discarded or spent lithium-based batteries in the United States for eventual recovery of key materials for re-introduction into the U.S. supply chain.

Any solution that significantly increases the capture of lithium-ion batteries for eventual recycling is of interest to the prize. Page 8 of the Rules indicates that “consumer awareness of both the ability and importance of proper LIB recycling is still somewhat low,” and  “limited infrastructure and awareness act as barriers to recycling efforts. Participants are encouraged to devise a system or systems to incentivize recycling: this can include development of infrastructure, or devising a new business model, among other strategies.”

The team leader is required to register, and encouraged to do so on behalf of the entire team, and submit a package. It is optional for other team members to register – each registered team member will be required to also sign and submit a user agreement. 

As indicated in FAQ # 40, any letters of support from companies will not count toward the ten-page limit. The letters of support could be included in the Full Submission Package (see Submission Proposal Template) and uploaded as PDF file format under Create Submission.

Partners