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Updated: August 22, 2022

40 Under Forty 2022: Eric Gratz

Photo | Erika Sidor Eric Gratz
Photo | Erika Sidor 40 Under Forty 2022 winners Eric Gratz, Taylor Lacroix, Mike Nicholson, and Lauren Crossman-Nanoff pose at Old Stone Church in West Boylston
Eric Gratz, 39
  • Title Chief technology officer
  • Company Ascend Elements, in Westborough and Worcester
  • Residence Stow
  • Birthplace St. Paul, Minn.
  • College Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Click here to read about the other 40 Under Forty, Class of 2022
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As the co-founder of Ascend, a lithium-ion battery recycling company, Gratz is helping to establish Central Massachusetts as a player in the battery eco-space.

When he was a post-doctoral fellow at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Gratz helped develop the battery recycling technology that led to his company, while working in the laboratory of Professor Yan Wang. It was there he invented the hydro-to-cathode process, which enables his company to recover 98% of the critical metals in used lithium-ion batteries and manufacturing scrap.

He is a frequent speaker at electric vehicle battery industry events, and was invited to participate in a U.S. Department of Energy program aiming to accelerate the development of a robust and secure domestic supply chain for lithium-based batteries. By helping develop a domestic EV battery manufacturing infrastructure, Gratz is helping to combat climate change and ensuring America's energy independence. Ascend, which employs nearly 100 people in Worcester and Westborough, has raised more than $170 million in funding. The company has been granted three patents, with 12 more in the process. In his free time, Gratz enjoys rock climbing.

What will Central Mass. be like in 10 years? Hopefully, not that much different, as I love Central Mass. Maybe a few more BBQ joints.

What is the key to your success? Being stubborn but knowing my limitations

When do you want to retire? Too young to think about that

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