MISSISSAUGA –In December 2019 Li-Cycle Corp., a Mississauga, Ontario-based lithium-ion battery resource recovery company, completed its first shipment of commercially recycled battery material, containing energy metals concentrate.
The shipped product was processed at Li-Cycle’s facility and contained key metals – such as cobalt, nickel and lithium – used in lithium-ion batteries. Li-Cycle is one of the few companies globally capable of recovering critical battery materials from lithium-ion batteries in a sustainable and safe manner.
Since Li-Cycle’s founding in 2016, the company has developed a unique technology that enables 80 to 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 produces no solid waste streams, minimal/no water discharge, nor any harmful air emissions.
“The first shipment of commercial product marks a significant milestone for Li-Cycle, on our path to becoming a resource recovery processor, handling all types of lithium-ion batteries from a broad set of customers and applications,” said Ajay Kochhar, president and CEO of Li-Cycle.
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 is focused on meeting the global challenge in North America through its existing processing facility in Mississauga 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.
Materials produced by Li-Cycle provide a significant net benefit to the environment compared to traditional production methods. Specifically, returning commercial quantities of recycled battery materials to the supply chain offsets the use of battery materials that are mined and refined from primary sources. As a result, Li-Cycle’s activities indirectly reduce the environmental (e.g. air emissions, soil and water impacts) and social impacts of mining and refining from primary sources at scale.