Canada’s Li-Cycle recycling company announces that it has completed its first commercial shipment of recycled battery materials. The firm says it can recover over 80 per cent of the elements found in lithium-ion batteries.
The first batch of recycled materials has been extracted at Li-Cycle’s facility in Ontario, Canada, and prepared for re-delivery. The materials are metals such as cobalt, nickel and lithium. The company describes its recycling approach as a two-stage process using mechanical and hydrometallurgical or wet-chemical methods. With this approach, it is possible to recycle all variants of cathode and anode chemistry within the lithium-ion spectrum without the need for sorting according to specific chemicals, the Canadian company added.
In addition to the main production facility in Canada, Li-Cycle aims to build another processing plant in Rochester, New York State, before the end of the year. The company also intends to explore “international opportunities actively”.
The creation of a secondary source for critical battery materials is currently occupying companies around the world. Just earlier this month Fortum, BASF and Nornickel announced a joint initiative to recover valuable metals from lithium-ion batteries. Eramet, BASF and SUEZ as well as Audi and Umicore are pursuing similar projects. In Germany, a consortium of 13 partners in Baden-Württemberg is developing a robot-assisted dismantling factory for batteries and drives of electric cars. And these are just a few of the projects initiated in the past six months, while several others have started in parallel or have been running for some time.