DOE Awards $74 Million for Battery Recycling and Reuse Projects
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded nearly $74 million, available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, to 10 projects focused on recycling and reusing batteries, particularly EV batteries.
According to the Department of Energy, over 1.2 million electric cars have been sold since President Joe Biden took office, and demand for battery minerals, like lithium and graphite, is expected to increase 4,000% in coming years as EV demand continues to rise. Recycling and reusing battery components is important to the supply chain, making EV battery production faster and more reliable.
“Recycling advanced batteries presents an enormous opportunity for America to support the creation of a secure and resilient domestic battery supply chain to reach our clean energy and transportation future,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “The historic investments of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are making it possible for cross-sector collaboration that will fuel America’s technological breakthroughs and eliminate our overreliance on other nations to meet our clean energy goals.”
The new funding builds on an existing $2.8 billion from the infrastructure bill for domestic battery processing and battery component manufacturing. These projects also are expected to get the country closer to reaching the Biden administration’s target of having half of all vehicle sales in the U.S. be electric by the end of this decade.
Funding will go to four projects in California and one project each in Nevada, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Indiana and Alabama.
As reported by The Associated Press, the University of California-San Diego is set to receive $10 million for technology that can recycle lithium-ion batteries. Element Energy, based in Menlo Park, California, will receive nearly $8 million for a wind energy project in Texas as well as for a project in collaboration with Next Era Energy Resources that uses technology for reusing batteries for energy storage.
Although batteries are important for transitioning to clean energy, the U.S. does not produce enough of the minerals necessary to make batteries. Resource mining also has a big environmental impact, using massive amounts of water and contaminating soil and air, as explained by the Institute for Energy Research.
As such, a more sustainable approach is necessary, including finding ways to recycle and reuse batteries. The grant winners will work on projects that develop ways to reuse end-of-life EV batteries, from finding ways to separate battery materials to investigating stationary energy storage systems.
“Responsible and sustainable end-of-life recycling and reuse will strengthen domestic battery manufacturing and allow the nation to meet the increasing demand for EVs through American-made battery components,” the Department of Energy stated. “Leveraged with recipient cost share, this funding will help to provide more than $126 million for America’s clean energy future.”