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ORNL’s green solvent enables environmentally friendly recycling of valuable Li-ion battery materials. Credit: Andy Sproles/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a solvent that results in a more environmentally friendly process to recover valuable materials from used lithium-ion batteries, supports a stable domestic supply chain for new batteries and keeps old ones out of landfills.

The proposed Battery Identity Global Passport suggests a scannable QR code or other digital tag affixed to Li-ion batteries to identify materials for efficient end-of-life recycling. Credit: Andy Sproles, ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have devised a method to identify the unique chemical makeup of every lithium-ion battery around the world, information that could accelerate recycling, recover critical materials and resolve a growing waste stream.

ORNL’s Ramesh Bhave poses in his lab in March 2019. Bhave developed the Membrane Solvent Extraction process, which can be used to recover cobalt and other metals from spent lithium-ion batteries. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Momentum Technologies Inc., a Dallas, Texas-based materials science company that is focused on extracting critical metals from electronic waste, has licensed an Oak Ridge National Laboratory process for recovering cobalt and other metals from spent lithium-ion batteries.

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory shed new light on elusive chemical processes at the liquid-liquid interface during solvent extraction of cobalt (dark blue). Credit: Michelle Lehman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Real-time measurements captured by researchers at ORNL provide missing insight into chemical separations to recover cobalt, a critical raw material used to make batteries and magnets for modern technologies.

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Scientists from the Critical Materials Institute used the Titan supercomputer and Eos computing cluster at ORNL to analyze designer molecules that could increase the yield of rare earth elements found in bastnaesite, an important mineral 

This isotropic, neodymium-iron-boron bonded permanent magnet was 3D-printed at DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated that permanent magnets produced by additive manufacturing can outperform bonded magnets made using traditional techniques while conserving critical materials. Scientists fabric...

ORNL Director Thom Mason (left) and Thomas Roberts of Oddello Industries LLC sign a research and development agreement.

A process developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for large-scale recovery of rare earth magnets from used computer hard drives will undergo industrial testing under a new agreement between Oddello Industries LLC and ORNL, as part of the Department of Energy’s Crit...

ORNL researchers are developing an idealized collector molecule that has a shape complementary to the surface atomic structure of xenotime, a rare earth yttrium-rich phosphate mineral.

Ensuring a reliable supply of rare earth elements, including four key lanthanides and yttrium, is a major goal of the Critical Materials Institute ( as these elements are essential to many clean-energy technologies. These include energy-efficient lighting, ...

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A new technology developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute that aids in the recycling, recovery and extraction of rare earth minerals has been licensed to U.S. Rare Earths, Inc.

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An alloy discovered at Oak Ridge National Laboratory holds great promise for permanent magnets as the material retains its magnetic properties at higher temperatures yet contains no rare-earth elements. This finding is significant because while rare-earth-based magnets are critical to alternative ...