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 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 supply chain.
Continuation of the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize will leverage funds authorized in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to administer and award a total of $7.4 million in cash prizes and voucher support to prize participants over the next 3 years, approximately. This continuation is designed to bolster participation from new competitors while providing additional support to Phase III winning teams.
This new public contest aims to incentivize new submissions from battery industry entrepreneurs that demonstrate innovative solutions that work toward or deliver on the goal of the prize, while continuing to support the further development of Phase III winning solutions. This phase consists of two simultaneous competition tracks:
Track 1: New Competitors —Legal business entities based in the United States with single process ideas, partial solutions or full concept solutions that enable or meet the prize goal. Track 1 is open to new participants and previous competitors of the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize. A single business entity may participate as a new competitor, or teams may be comprised of multiple businesses.
Track 2: Verified Competitors — Phase III winners are invited to further develop their concept solutions with the added support of a $100,000 noncash voucher to be spent at a Voucher Service Provider within the American-Made Network. Voucher work must support the continued validation and demonstration of their Phase III pilot-scale solutions.
Breakthrough will award up to $1.2 million total in cash prizes to up to six teams within Track 1: New Competitors and up to $800,000 total in cash prizes and $100,000 in voucher funding to up to four teams within Track 2: Verified Competitors. In total, Breakthrough will award up to $2.4 million in prizes to up to 10 winners. In addition, the 10 Breakthrough winners will be eligible to advance to Phase IV of the competition.
For more information about the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize Breakthrough competition, refer to the official rules.
The Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize is seeking qualified lithium-ion battery recyclers and second-life testing organizations to support Phase IV as Evaluation Entities. To become an approved Evaluation Entity, private organizations and facilities must first apply to become a Voucher Service Provider on the American-Made website.
The Evaluation Entity application is now open! Qualified lithium-ion battery recyclers and second-life testing organizations can follow these steps to become an approved Evaluation Entity and collaborate with Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize participants in exchange for voucher funding. Please be sure to join the American-Made Network before you apply.
Refer to our Evaluation Entities page to learn more about this process. Participants can check back regularly as approved Evaluation Entities are added.
We will be hosting an informational webinar on Wednesday, October 4 at 3:00 p.m. ET to share more information about the Evaluation Entity role and application process. Register now to join this webinar, and submit any questions in advance to .
Please join us on Tuesday, August 8, at 5:00 p.m. in Indianapolis, IN, for this unique networking reception, following the first day of the NAATBatt Lithium Battery Recycling Workshop. This reception is free and open to the general public and workshop attendees, although we request that interested parties sign up for the event.
Don’t miss this opportunity to meet with prize participants, industry stakeholders, voucher service providers, and potential evaluation entities.
Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize Networking Reception Tuesday, August 8, at 5:00 p.m. The Center | The Heritage Group 6320 Intech Wy Indianapolis, IN 46278
Attendees will learn more about recent Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize updates and identify potential collaboration opportunities to strengthen concepts and Breakthrough submissions.
The Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize Administrators hosted an introduction to the prize continuation and Breakthrough Contest on Tuesday, July 11, at 1 p.m. ET. We would like to thank everyone who attended this informational session. For those who were unable to attend, the webinar recording is provided below.
Please submit any questions to BatteryRecyclingPrize@nrel.gov.
Join us tomorrow, Tuesday, July 11, at 11 a.m. MT to learn more about the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize Breakthrough contest.
This informational webinar will include everything you need to know about competing in the Breakthrough contest—including the rules, timeline, and submission requirements. A recording of the webinar will be available after the event.
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.