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Electronics Scrap Recycling Advancement Prize

The Electronics Scrap Recycling Advancement Prize (E-SCRAP) is a $3.95M challenge sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO). The prize aims to stimulate innovative approaches that reduce the costs and environmental impact of critical material recovery from electronic scrap (e-scrap).

Prize Overview

E-scrap—which includes mobile phones, home appliances, medical or office equipment, and anything else powered by electricity—represents the fastest growing waste stream globally, with e-scrap generation expected to double between 2014 and 2030. Only 17.4% of e-scrap was collected and recycled globally in 2019, discarding 83% of e-waste and $57B in raw material value. However, e-scrap recovery faces numerous roadblocks, including a fragmented recycling value chain, a complex and dynamic feedstock, and a rapidly evolving end-use market. In response, E-SCRAP is challenging American entrepreneurs to revolutionize critical material recovery and reshape the future of sustainable manufacturing.

Cooler temperatures and smaller magnetics also allow thermal management and power components to be smaller, lighter, and cheaper, thereby lowering total costs while also enabling smaller footprints. However, parasitic inductance and heat dissipation issues related to conventional packaging techniques have been known to limit the performance potential of SiC modules.

E-SCRAP is not just a competition; it’s a catalyst for change. By addressing challenges in the e-scrap recycling value chain, competitor teams can each win up to $800,000 in cash prizes and $150,000 in national laboratory analysis support over the course of the three-phase competition.

timeline of E-SCRAP prize

The prize is open to competitors looking to:

  • Build partnerships across the recycling value chain to optimize and integrate critical material separation and recovery technologies.
  • Develop and demonstrate innovations along the recycling value chain to enhance the recovery of critical materials from e-scrap.
  • Select at least one challenge (technical, supply chain, or related logistics hurdle) that needs further development and establish high impact opportunities (co-recovery, feedstock flexibility, information share, material benchmarking…) that will increase the domestic supply of critical materials from e-scrap.
  • Create or enhance supply chains to increase material circularity (e.g., accelerating connectivity between collection, sorting, pre-treatment, processing, refining, validation, and material qualification)

Prize Structure

=timeline of the E-SCRAP Prize.

The three phases of E-SCRAP prioritize the circularity of materials and reduction of e-scrap, identifying solutions that expand beyond a single-use life for electronics and encouraging reuse of product materials. The cash prizes and assistance awarded in Phases 1 and 2 are intended to support teams as they advance in the competition.

Phase 1 – Incubate

Competitors will propose solutions that substantially increase the amount of recovered critical materials from e-scrap used in U.S. manufacturing. Up to 10 winners will receive $50,000 in cash and $30,000 in national laboratory analysis support.

Phase 2 – Prototype

Competitors will prototype their innovation and begin collecting and/or generating data that can be used to optimize technoeconomic strategy and life cycle impacts between partners along the recycling value chain. Winners will receive $150,000 in cash and $120,000 in national laboratory analysis support.

Phase 3 – Demonstrate

Competitors will begin implementing their innovations and propose their plans to scale their solution. Phase 3 winners will receive $600,000 in cash.

Who is Eligible to Compete?

The competition is open to private entities (for-profits and nonprofits), nonfederal government entities (such as states, counties, tribes, and municipalities), academic institutions, and individuals that meet all eligibility requirements. For more information, review the official prize rules

How to Enter

Go to the HeroX challenge page and follow the instructions for submitting all required materials before the Phase 1 submission deadline on Sept. 4, 2024, at 5 p.m. ET. Read the E-SCRAP Rules to learn more.

Important Dates

Phase 1: Incubate

Submission opens:

March 6, 2024

Informational Webinar:

March 27, 2024 2 p.m. ET (Register Here)

Informational Webinar:

June 18, 2024 12 p.m. ET (Register Here)

Submissions Close:

Sept. 4, 2024, 5 p.m. ET

Winner Announcement:

December 2024 *

Phase 2: Prototype

Submissions Open:

November 2024 *

Submissions Close:

August 2025 *

Winner Announcement:

October 2025 *

Phase 3: Demonstrate

Submissions Opens:

October 2025 *

Submissions Close:

October 2026 *

Winner Announcement:

November 2026 *

All dates are subject to change including contest openings, deadlines, and announcements.

Sign up for updates for the E-SCRAP Prize here.

Solutions that Can Shape the Future

Are you an innovative entrepreneur in the renewable energy industry? You belong here. Follow the E-SCRAP Prize on HeroX to get started!

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