Li-Cycle: Recycled lithium battery materials sent to first commercial customer
Canada-based start-up Li-Cycle has claimed a victory in commercialising its lithium battery recycling processes, with a shipment sent to a customer just before the end of last year.
Since Li-Cycle’s founding in 2016, the company has developed a unique technology that enables 80-100 percent 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 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. Furthermore, the capacity of global lithium-ion battery energy storage installations is projected to grow over 50 times during that same period. While lithium-ion batteries continue to play an increasingly 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, the company says in a statement.
Li-Cycle said that the first shipment “of commercially recycled battery material” was completed in December 2019, after processing at Li-Cycle’s Ontario facility. The company affirmed that materials including cobalt, nickel and of course lithium in a shipment that included a concentrate of the energy metals, had been successfully delivered to the unnamed customer.
- 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.
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