Argonne is working to address the urgent need to create a domestic supply chain for energy storage materials while creating both immediate and long-term domestic jobs. The U.S. does not currently produce, nor manufacture, much of our energy storage materials, and rely on other countries for these products. This has been likened to the vulnerability of the U.S. on oil supply in the past.
To address this need, Argonne is taking a holistic approach that is necessary to build up a domestic supply chain. This approach recognizes that both upstream and midstream processing, as well as recycling feedstocks, are needed to establish the complete system needed to realize a truly domestic-centric battery material supply chain. To do this, new technologies are being explored that provide opportunity to produce materials from our own resources. New technologies are also explored and tested here at Argonne that will convert those minerals into the materials that are needed to make batteries locally. Likewise, we are working to close the supply loop from domestically recycled batteries.
This effort is closely linked to the Materials Engineering Research Facility and the manufacturing initiative at Argonne. The MERF is a facility that optimizes and scales up new manufacturing processes which naturally lends itself to tackling the challenges and opportunities before us. The ReCell Center is also closely linked to the supply chain effort and remains in close collaboration.