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Bayh-Dole Coalition Selects WPI Professor Yan Wang as an Inaugural “Face of American Innovation”
Wang honored for his pioneering lithium-ion battery recycling technique
Yan Wang, WPI Faculty member of CR3 has been named to the Bayh-Dole Coalition’s inaugural “Faces of American Innovation.” Wang is among just five individuals to be recognized with the American Innovator Award by the Coalition, which consists of “a diverse group of innovation-oriented organizations and individuals committed to celebrating and protecting the Bayh-Dole Act.” The awardees were chosen for their cutting-edge work in helping turn early-stage scientific discoveries into products that benefit people and the planet.
Professor Wang’s lab developed a lithium-ion battery recycling technique capable of collecting and reusing 98% of critical metals from discarded batteries. The process is only 10% as carbon-intensive as conventional lithium-ion manufacturing. WPI worked with Wang to patent the invention in 2012, and a spin-off company has since licensed the patent for commercial development.
“I am deeply honored to receive this award for my work in the field of lithium-ion battery recycling,” said Wang. “This recognition underscores the critical importance of sustainable technology solutions that address our planet’s pressing challenges. Through collaborative efforts, we are forging a path towards a greener future, where innovation and environmental stewardship intersect to create lasting impact.”
“Professor Wang’s immense contributions to lithium-ion battery manufacturing and recycling exemplify the spirit of innovation and discovery that the Bayh-Dole Coalition deeply values,” said Joseph P. Allen, executive director of the Bayh-Dole Coalition. “Without visionary innovators like Professor Wang and the ingenious tech transfer system established by the Bayh-Dole Act, many promising early-stage discoveries would fail to reach their full potential.”
Lithium-ion batteries are found everywhere. They are in our cell phones, laptops; even in hybrid cars. And with this growth in popularity comes the need to find a responsible way to recycle them. This is where researchers at CR3 come in. WPI mechanical engineering professor Yan Wang and one of his CR3 researchers have invented technology that takes spent batteries and identifies what is in the battery that can be reused and what impurities need to be screened out. To learn more about this breakthrough technology that was first developed in CR3’s lab watch the video.
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number IIP-0968839 and 1747765.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.