Energy Department Announces Opening of Battery Recycling Center at Argonne National Lab

February 15, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In celebration of National Battery Day on February 18th, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Daniel Simmons announced the opening of a Battery Recycling Center at Argonne National Laboratory. Aiming to reclaim and recycle critical materials (e.g., cobalt and lithium) from lithium-based battery technology, this recycling center focuses on cost-effective recycling processes to recover as much economic value as possible from spent lithium-ion batteries.

“Partnering with the private sector, National Laboratories, and universities, the Battery Recycling Prize and R&D Center will develop innovative technologies that recover and use recycled materials,” said Simmons. “These efforts will reduce our dependence on foreign sources of critical materials, strengthening America’s economic growth and energy security.”

Also announced today is the opening of the Energy Department’s Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize. Previously announced by Secretary Perry, the prize encourages American entrepreneurs to find innovative solutions to collecting, storing, and transporting discarded lithium-ion batteries for eventual recycling. It will award cash prizes totaling $5.5 million to contestants in three progressive phases designed to accelerate the development of solutions from concept to prototype. For additional information about the prize, visit

The goal of the Recycling Center and Battery Recycling Prize is to develop technologies to profitably capture 90% of all lithium based battery technologies in the United States and recover 90% of the key materials from the collected batteries. Currently, lithium-ion batteries are collected and recycled at a rate of less than 5%.

Commercially released in 1991, lithium-ion batteries were initially used in individual portable devices. Lithium-ion batteries can now be found in laptops, mobile phones, electric vehicles, energy storage devices, and a variety of defense applications. This work supports the Department’s goal of providing consumers with a range of transportation and energy storage options that are affordable, reliable, and secure.