A voluntary e-bike battery stewardship program launches, and a startup receives a $2 million contract to demonstrate its battery recycling technology. Those items are among recent announcements related to lithium-ion battery recycling.
E-bike battery program: The bicycle and battery industries have partnered to launch a national program to fund the collection and recycling of electric bike batteries. According to a press release, PeopleForBikes, a bicycle industry trade association, is working with battery stewardship group Call2Recycle to kick-start the voluntary lithium-ion battery recycling program. Bicycle industry suppliers and manufacturers will fund the program, and Call2Recycle will oversee the collection, shipping and recycling of batteries. Collection will occur at a network of bike retailers and through at-home collection kits.
EV battery recycling plant: Elemental Holding, a metals recycling company involved in e-scrap processing in Europe, will build an electric vehicle battery recycling facility in Zawiercie, Poland. The plant, which will recover nickel, cobalt, lithium and other metals from batteries, is scheduled to start operating in 2023, according to a press release. The project is co-financed by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), with additional support of the European Commission. Elemental Holding recently acquired U.S. scrap metal company Legend Smelting and Recycling.
Recycled beats virgin materials: Researchers have found that materials recovered from spent lithium-ion batteries perform better than virgin materials in new batteries. The research, published in the journal Joule, found that battery cells with recycled materials can exceed commercial-grade virgin equivalents by 33% or 53% (with the percentage depending on the number of charging cycles tested). “From experimental and modeling results, the unique microstructure of recycled materials enables superior electrochemical performance,” according to the paper summary.
Contract awarded: American Battery Technology Company (ABTC) received a $2 million contract from an automaker consortium to demonstrate its integrated lithium-ion battery recycling technology. A press release states that the Reno, Nev.-based company received the competitively bid contract from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy. The money funds a 30-month project to demonstrate that battery-grade metals can be manufactured from recycled materials at lower cost, lower environmental impact and with higher domestic-sourced content than conventional virgin metals, the release states.
Technology collaboration: Two battery recycling technology companies signed an agreement to work together to recycle lithium-ion battery black mass into high-quality metals. Aqua Metals, a Reno, Nev. company that uses an “AquaRefining” technology, partnered with LINICO Corporation, which is focused on lithium-ion battery recycling, according to a press release. LINICO will process battery scrap into black mass, which Aqua Metals will process into metals such as nickel, cobalt, copper and other compounds.
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