Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the continuation of the American-Made Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize to leverage funds authorized in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to further the development of innovative solutions that contribute to the recovery of lithium-ion batteries. 

First launched in January 2019, the Battery Recycling Prize has to date awarded $5.5 million for innovative solutions to collecting, sorting, storing, and transporting spent and discarded lithium-ion batteries. In recognition of its ongoing importance in informing larger battery recycling efforts, DOE is announcing $7.4 million to fund a new Breakthrough Contest, as well as Phase IV of the Prize. 

Public Breakthrough Contest Now Open

The continuation of this prize begins with a public Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize Breakthrough contest to incentivize submissions from battery industry entrepreneurs, including new or former prize participants, to propose single process ideas, partial solutions, or full concept solutions that enable or meet the prize goal. In addition, Breakthrough invites the Phase III winners to further develop their concept solutions with the support of additional $100,000 noncash vouchers. 

Up to ten Breakthrough winners will receive a $200,000 cash prize and advance to Phase IV of the competition to show how effectively their solution contributes to establishing infrastructure to move spent or discarded LIBs from consumers to recyclers across all commercial uses. Phase IV will culminate with a $1 million cash prize awarded to a single “Grand Prize” winner and up to $3 million in cash prizes distributed equally among up to four “Runner Up” winning teams. 

As part of Phase IV: Demonstration of Impact, participants will work alongside recyclers and second-life testing organizations—Evaluation Entities—to validate their proposals. We encourage eligible organizations to stay tuned for more information on becoming an Evaluation Entity for this prize. 

Read the Official Breakthrough Contest Rules.

Join prize administrators for a virtual kickoff and informational webinar on Tuesday, July 11 at 1 p.m. ET. Click here to register for the event.