Cirba Solutions gets $75 million in DOE funding to expand Li-ion battery recycling facility in Ohio

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The Biden administration said on Wednesday it is awarding $2.8 billion in grants to boost US production of electric vehicle batteries and the minerals used to build them, part of a bid to wean the country off supplies from China.

Cirba Solutions will receive approximately $75 million in federal funds to expand critical mineral upgrading assets at its lithium-ion processing facility in Lancaster, Ohio.

The largest cross-chemistry battery management and materials processor in the industry, Cirba is a recipient of the first set of projects funded by Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and the electrical grid, with a focus on domestic processing of materials and components currently imported from other countries.

The funding announced Wednesday by the Department of Energy is the first phase of over $7 billion in total funding provided by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the battery supply chain. DOE’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC) is responsible for strengthening and securing manufacturing and energy supply chains needed to modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure and support a clean and equitable energy transition. 

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At full operation, Cirba said its estimated 150,000-square-foot facility will produce enough battery-grade critical minerals used in cathode production to power more than 200,000 new electric vehicles annually.

The Lancaster facility will become one of the largest commercial-scale battery recycling facilities in North America and add 150m jobs to the local economy, the company said.

Before this federal funding award, Cirba Solutions announced it is investing more than $200 million to expand the Lancaster facility to collect, disassemble, shred, and upgrade the critical minerals from lithium-ion batteries to be reused to produce new lithium-ion batteries.

“This is a remarkable time for manufacturing in America, as President Biden’s Agenda and investments supercharge the private sector to ensure our clean energy future is American-made,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm in a statement. “Producing advanced batteries and components here at home will accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to meet the strong demand for electric vehicles.”

“The time and cost to mine and process new materials is significant, and the need for these battery materials is becoming increasingly urgent,” Cirba CEO David Klanecky said. “Battery recycling is a viable solution to help meet the rising demand for EV batteries.”

In September, Cirba Solutions announced plans to construct a 75,000-square-foot facility in Eloy, Arizona to recycle lithium-ion batteries. The Eloy facility is expected to process enough battery material to power 50,000 EVs annually.