Li-Cycle marks first shipment of recycled battery material
Li-Cycle Corp. has reported its first shipment of commercially recycled battery material from its facility in Ontario. The shipment, made in December, contained key energy metals used in lithium-ion batteries, such as cobalt, nickel and lithium, in a concentrate. Li-Cycle says it is one of the few companies globally capable of recovering critical battery materials from lithium-ion batteries in a sustainable and safe manner.
“The first shipment of commercial product marks a significant milestone for Li-Cycle, on the company’s path to becoming a premier resource recovery processor, handling all types of lithium-ion batteries from a broad set of customers and applications,” says Ajay Kochhar, president and CEO of Li-Cycle. “As we grow our business, we look forward to continuing to provide sustainable and technologically innovative solutions to solve our global customers’ end-of-life lithium-ion battery challenges.”
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle has developed a technology that enables 80-100% recovery of all materials found in lithium-ion batteries using a two-step mechanical and hydrometallurgical/ ‘wet chemistry’ process. Li-Cycle’s process technology is uniquely capable of recycling all variants of cathode and anode chemistries within the lithium-ion spectrum, without the need for sorting into specific chemistries. Additionally, Li-Cycle’s technology ensures that lithium-ion batteries are processed safely without risk of thermal runaway (i.e. there is no risk of fire during processing). The process technology is inherently sustainable – it produces no solid waste streams, minimal/no water discharge, nor any harmful air emissions.
By 2040, an estimated 559 million electric vehicles will be on the road worldwide, and the capacity of global lithium-ion battery energy storage installations is projected to grow over 50 times. While lithium-ion batteries play a critical role in the global transition towards electrification, the world lacks a viable option for dealing with the rapidly growing volumes of spent lithium-ion batteries. Li-Cycle provides a solution for this gap through an innovative and sustainable resource recovery process.
Li-Cycle is focused on meeting the global challenge in North America through its existing processing facility in Canada and its upcoming expansion in the U.S. during 2020. Li-Cycle is also actively pursuing international opportunities, with a vision to create a significant secondary source of critical materials for the lithium-ion battery supply chain.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)