The 30,000-metric-tonne-per-year facility will be North America’s single largest battery recycling operation to extract lithium, cobalt and nickel from discarded lithium-ion batteries and scrap.
Battery Resourcers, a vertically integrated lithium-ion battery recycling and engineered materials company, have announced plans to open a commercial-scale, lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Covington, in the state of Georgia.
When the 154,000-square-foot facility is fully operational in August 2022, it will be North America’s largest battery recycling facility with capacity to process 30,000 metric tonnes of discarded lithium-ion batteries and scrap per year — returning battery grade lithium, cobalt and nickel back into the battery supply chain.
Automotive OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] are sitting on mountains of discarded batteries and scrap
As demand for electric vehicles (EVs) increases, industry analysts and the US Government agree the United States, like many countries, needs to build sustainable battery recycling infrastructure.
The opening of this facility will help meet that demand, according to Battery Resourcers, which is investing $43 million in the facility. The site is strategically located near several EV manufacturing hubs and lithium-ion gigafactories.
“Automotive OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] are sitting on mountains of discarded batteries and scrap, and right now they have very few options for responsible and cost-effective disposal,” said Michael O’Kronley, CEO and Director of Battery Resourcers.
“With this convenient US.location and our next-generation technology, we are providing a sustainable solution to help minimise the need for mining while returning valuable, battery-grade materials back into the lithium-ion supply chain.”
O’Kronley said he wants to see the battery recycling industry bring even more recycling capacity online in the coming years.
He said: “As an industry, we need to match the capacity of the gigafactories producing millions of batteries with our own ‘gigarecycling’ facilities that can recycle millions of batteries.
“Our Covington facility will be the largest in North America this summer, but we encourage development of recycling facilities even larger than this one. We all win when we prevent batteries from going to landfill.”
The opening of the Covington facility marks the first phase of Battery Resourcers’ strategic expansion. Plans are already in motion to open an additional facility for precursor and cathode-active material production in 2023 using the company’s patented Hydro-to Cathode™ technology.
As an industry, we need to match the capacity of the gigafactories producing millions of batteries with our own ‘gigarecycling’ facilities that can recycle millions of batteries.
Compared to mining and production of new materials, the Hydro-to Cathode recycling process is 93% cleaner at a 59% lower cost, it says.
A recent study published in the scholarly journal, Joule, found recycled cathode from the Hydro-to-Cathode process outperforms new cathode materials in terms of cycle life by as much as 53%.
The company’s long-term plans include opening additional facilities in North America, Europe and Asia to process up to 150,000 metric tonnes of lithium-ion material globally per year.