Dr. Steven Sloop founded OnTo Technology in 2004 to host the LG/Apple battery recall and develop direct recycling technologies. The experience was seminal to understand opportunities and develop technologies to address safety, logistics, and efficiency in the advanced battery recycling market. Sloop has developed a patent portfolio to address these issues including processes for safe discharge, battery deactivation, whole battery rejuvenation, cathode-to-cathode reclamation and recently fast, cheap identification of battery chemistry through density measurements. Sloop’s work with Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) support from the US Department of Energy Vehicle Technology Office (DOE VTO) developed the first electric vehicle (EV) grade lithium-ion battery composed of reclaimed NMC, the program demonstrated the feasibility of low-cost reclamation of whole electrode materials utilizing soft-chemical techniques. These processes were expanded to other EV relevant NMCs with SBIR support from the Defense Logistics Agency. The body of work outlines the potential for low-cost, multigenerational NMCs for applications such as EVs, and a future in which EV lithium-ion batteries are an asset at end-of-life. To further the end-of-life asset work, OnTo was awarded an EERE contract (September ’18) to develop methods to improve safety and reduce costs related to Class 9 hazards for end-of-life lithium-ion batteries.
Sloop received his BS from Willamette University and PhD from Oregon State University in inorganic chemistry with Professor Michael Lerner. Dr. Sloop was a Postdoctoral Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Dr. John B. Kerr’s group developing polymer electrolytes and diagnostic techniques to understand capacity fade in lithium-ion batteries. The LBNL experience was an important foundation for the eventual launching of OnTo and Sloop’s ongoing work in soft-chemical cathode recovery and whole battery treatments.