Metals extraction plant to open in Ohio

A battery recycling startup is planning to build a materials extraction plant in Ohio.  

Nth Cycle will commission a 21,000-square-foot refining facility in Fairfield, Ohio.

The new facility will recover the outputs of metal scrap, electronics waste, untapped mining resources and refinery waste into critical metal products including nickel and cobalt through its premium Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) product. Nth Cycle’s MHP, produced from a patented electro-extraction processor named “the OYSTER,” yields high concentrates of nickel hydroxide and cobalt hydroxide.

Until now, there has been no domestic production of MHP in the United States, with battery manufacturers instead relying on inconsistent supply and quality. Nth Cycle’s MHP initiative helps eliminate that risk to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) while producing a product of over 90% of nickel and cobalt, versus 30-40% nickel and only 1-6% cobalt, which is typical of the currently-sourced product.

Nth Cycle’s refining process could also reduce the associated production of greenhouse gasses by more than 90%, versus traditional mining processes and fulfills the domestic sourcing and recycled content compliance requirements of the US Inflation Reduction Act.

“As the world becomes increasingly reliant on the critical metals that are the backbone of an electrified economy, it’s clear the sourcing of those materials must be as clean and efficient as the future we imagine,” said Megan O’Connor, co-founder and CEO of Nth Cycle.

“A clean, unfettered and cost-efficient supply chain of Nickel and Cobalt, or MHP, not only accelerates our path to that future, but it establishes the U.S. as a global leader in that movement.”

Electro-extraction is a cleaner and more efficient alternative to conventional and dirty pyrometallurgy (or smelting) operations currently deployed by metal scrap recyclers and mining companies. Nth Cycle’s OYSTER system also is modular, enabling an ability to co-locate at customer sites, eliminating the need to emit more emissions to transport the metal waste or low-grade ore for refining. This will allow the company or OEM to manage its own waste and return the advanced material directly to the manufacturing line.