American Made Challenges Battery Voucher Program Cooperative Research and Development Agreement: Cooperative Research and Development Final Report, CRADA Number CRD-21-17533

Research output: NRELTechnical Report

Abstract

Renewance is a Phase II winner of the U.S. Department of Energy Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Prize. The Prize is designed to incentivize American entrepreneurs to develop and demonstrate processes that, when scaled, have the potential to profitably capture 90% of all discarded or spent lithium-based batteries (LIB) in the Unites States for eventual recovery of key materials for re-introductions into the U.S. supply chain. The objective of this work is to enable a more efficient evaluation of battery sources for second life applications prior to ultimately being recycled, through evaluation of chemistry characteristics, projected battery lifetime, and application history. This work will develop the capability to identify groups of batteries that may be useful for second life and reduce the cost of end-of-life (EOL) LIB evaluation and repurposing. To meet the objective, NREL will use existing and new data to create a refined algorithm that could be used to evaluate batches of batteries for potential reuse based on manufacturing date and historical use characteristics. Based on current battery market prices and compiled literature data, a starting-point estimate of the market value of the batteries for reuse based on expected lifetime will be included in the algorithm. With the projected surge in LIB demand, battery second life is a new area ripe for development and investment from companies like Renewance. With so few large format batteries reaching EOL to date, this is a new market with a variety of areas for optimization and adding value. This work with Renewance is an example of how existing expertise in battery degradation at NREL can be used to reduce the cost of shifting a battery into a second life application. With these cost reductions, this work is also facilitating the development of a battery circular economy in the United States. A robust circular economy can maximize the utilization of critical metals demanded by battery technology such as nickel and cobalt while also reducing the costs of batteries in the marketplace for the many end-uses needed for the green energy transition. The supply of these metals is limited, and we face a supply chain shortage both domestically and globally unless we can ensure they are being used to their maximum potential. This research can improve the economics of a battery circular economy to make it a more likely path for EOL batteries with critical metals. CRADA benefit to DOE, Participant, and US Taxpayer: assists laboratory in achieving programmatic scope competencies, uses the laboratory's core competencies.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5400-83535

Keywords

  • battery degradation
  • circular economy
  • CRADA
  • lithium-ion batteries
  • second life

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