Princeton NuEnergy announced Aug. 5 it received a $1.15 million Small Business Innovations Research (SBIR) Program Phase II award from The U.S. Department of Energy.
This announcement comes just a day after New Jersey announced it awarded a combined $748,000 in grant “seed funding” to 10 cleantech startups developing technology to recapture or cut down on carbon emissions, in which NuEnergy received $75,000 to develop a battery-recycling technology for lithium-ion batteries.
DOE funds areas including clean technology, renewables, efficiency, transportation, power grids, fossil fuels, and more. Among these funds, the DOE SBIR program helps qualified startups conduct R&D through government-sponsored grants and does not take any equity from these small businesses.
Selection criteria for Phase II funding includes the results achieved in Phase I, the scientific and technical merits of the proposed project, and commercial potential of the expected products.
Winning the Phase II award is testimony to PNE’s phenomenal growth over the past two years.
At that time, PNE was a fresh spinout from Princeton University, awarded with funding from DOE SBIR Phase I award–at $250,000, among the highest in the vehicle technology category.
Corresponding to DOE’s mission of addressing U.S. energy and environmental challenges, PNE focused on recycling lithium-ion batteries. During the past two years, PNE developed multiple first-in-class technologies, with the core patent listed as Novel Plasma Based Direct Li-ion Battery Recycling, a process that produces high-quality cathode active materials from spent lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). Specifically, it utilizes a direct separation, purification and regeneration of cathode materials for aged LIBs using a novel plasma-assisted process.
Currently, PNE has partnered with Fortune 500 company Wistron GreenTech and eTak Worldwide to build a pilot production line in Dallas, Texas. The partnership aims to commercialize direct recycling of LIBs with reduced energy consumption, CO2 emission and operational costs.=