US Department of Energy announces new funding for lithium-ion battery recycling

The US Department of Energy announced on Monday June 12 that it was allocating more than $192 million in new funding for recycling batteries from consumer products

The funding will also help the launch of an advanced battery research and development (R&D) consortium and the continuation of the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize.

“With the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and stationary energy storage projected to increase the lithium battery market by as much as ten-fold by 2030, it is essential to invest in sustainable, reduced-cost recycling of consumer batteries in support of a secure, resilient and circular domestic supply chain for critical materials,” the Energy Department said in the statement.

“Today’s announcement supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal to have EVs make up half of all vehicle sales in America by 2030 and builds on the nearly $3 billion announced to date from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for EV and battery technologies,” it added.

Supply chain bottlenecks, national security concerns and the move toward electrification has motivated US-based battery recycling companies to work on innovative ways to recycle lithium-ion batteries, while the US government has supported the nascent industry with funding opportunities.

In May 2022, the Energy Department announced $3.1 billion in funding “to make more batteries and components in America, bolster domestic supply chains, create good-paying jobs and help lower costs for families,” with a separate $60 million “to support second-life applications for batteries once used to power EVs, as well as new processes for recycling materials back into the battery supply chain.”

In October, the department announced that 20 companies would receive $2.8 billion to build and expand commercial-scale facilities in 12 states that will extract and process lithium, graphite and other battery materials, as well as manufacture components and “demonstrate new approaches, including manufacturing components from recycled materials.”

Fastmarkets launched weekly payable indicators for black mass – the material result of recycling lithium-ion batteries – in South Korea in May.

The assessments of the black mass, NCM/NCA, payable indicator, cobalt, cif South Korea, % payable Fastmarkets’ standard-grade cobalt price (low-end) and the black mass, NCM/NCA, payable indicator, nickel, cif South Korea, % payable LME Nickel cash official price both increased to 65-72% on June 7, up from 63-68% on May 17.

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