Original article published in Green Car Congress
Li-Cycle Corp., North America’s largest lithium-ion battery recycling company, closed a Series C equity funding round to fund the development of its Rochester, New York Commercial Hub and to drive expansion into international markets. Moore Strategic Ventures LLC led the financing round, terms of which were not disclosed.
The need for an environmentally sustainable recycling capability for lithium-ion batteries is critical. Not only does Li-Cycle’s technology accomplish this, but it does so while enhancing the local supply of essential battery materials, most notably cobalt, lithium and nickel. Importantly, Li-Cycle’s recycling technology does not use a polluting smelting process.—James McIntyre, Senior Managing Director and COO of Moore Strategic Ventures
Li-Cycle was founded in 2016 in Toronto, Ontario with the vision to solve the global end-of-life lithium-ion battery problem and to create a secondary supply to meet the demand for critical battery materials through innovative recycling technology.
Li-Cycle developed and validated a patented technology that enables recoveries of at least 95% of all materials found in lithium-ion batteries through an innovative, zero-waste process. This compares to the industry norm of less than 50% recovery. The company is capable of processing all types of lithium-ion batteries used in electronic devices, e-mobility, electric vehicles and other energy storage applications.
As the first step in Li-Cycle’s patented, two-part Spoke and Hub process, batteries are shipped to an initial ‘Spoke’ location, where the materials are mechanically processed by Li-Cycle’s safe-size reduction technology. The material is then safely transported to a second ‘Hub’ location, where the intermediate product from the Spoke is put through a hydrometallurgical, or wet chemistry, process. The resulting components are then returned to their original, battery-grade chemical states, including lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and more for reintegration into the lithium-ion battery supply chain.
Li-Cycle says that it currently is the largest lithium-ion battery recycler in North America, with 10,000 tonnes/yr of Spoke capacity. This is equivalent to a capacity to process more than 1 GWh of batteries per year. Li-Cycle’s Spoke facility in Kingston, Ontario is operational, and the company is commissioning a second Spoke facility in Rochester, New York, which it plans to be operational during Q4 2020. Li-Cycle is also developing a Hub facility to be located in close proximity to its Rochester Spoke facility.