Research & Partnerships

The U.S. is racing to domestically meet its sustainability energy storage needs. Research is pivotal to that mission, which includes unlocking the full potential of lead batteries. The lead battery industry recognizes the importance of federal research and development funding, and partnerships with research institutions, such as the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Laboratory system. The federal government serves as a key facilitator of such research.

Advocates for Increased, Equitable Funding

BCI supports robust funding that enables research and development to help the lead battery industry grow, innovate, and expand its domestic manufacturing and recycling footprint. BCI advocates for:

  • More Battery R&D Funding: Increased DOE funding related to energy storage and battery technology will catalyze important breakthroughs to develop innovative, cutting-edge solutions for the industry.
  • Ensured Access for Lead Battery R&D: BCI advocates for a diversified approach to R&D funding that encompasses multiple battery technologies. It is imperative that lead batteries are included in these opportunities, on par with other battery chemistries. This ensures a level playing field for the lead battery industry to compete effectively.
The circular economy of lead batteries

DOE Ups Investment in Lead Battery Technology

The promise of lead batteries has already captured the attention of the DOE.

Through its Storage Innovations 2030 initiative, DOE issued comprehensive assessment reports on lead batteries and nine other battery chemistries for their promise to achieve the Long Duration Storage Shot™. The program seeks 90% cost reductions for grid-scale energy storage technologies that can provide 10 hours or longer duration of energy storage by 2030.

Lead Batteries Impress DOE: According to the DOE, lead batteries were selected for their “proven use cases over the last several decades” and notes their top benefits as:

  • Low-cost
  • Fundamentally safe
  • 99% recyclable

Highlights of DOE Lead Battery Assessment

The DOE’s technology strategy assessment on lead batteries recognized and recommended exciting opportunities to:

  • Improve and deploy lead battery technology at scale
  • Capitalize on lead battery’s promise for viability by 2030
  • Establish pre-competitive research pathways and stakeholder partners to achieve goals

Specifically, the assessment made these favorable conclusions about lead batteries:

  • Using DOE’s ROVI (Rapid Operational Validation Initiative) metrics, lead battery technology has a better chance of reaching the 2030-35 goals than lithium-ion.
  • Lead batteries require modest investment to maximize their potential.
  • There are basic research-focused innovations that appear to hold great promise for reducing cost and improving performance.
Argonne National Laboratory Synchrotron
Argonne National Laboratory Synchrotron

More Exciting Research Yielding Results

Research is already underway into harnessing the full potential of lead battery technology in the U.S.

Learn more about projects in progress and lead battery innovation.

Carole Mars The Sustainability Consortium Director

The high recycling rate of U.S. lead batteries means a large percent of U.S. lead battery manufacturing supply chain inputs (73% of its lead) are sourced from domestic recyclers.

Dr. Carole Mars, Director of Technical Development and Innovation, The Sustainability Consortium