Original interview published in Construction Review Online
April 19, 2021
Li-Cycle, a Canadian lithium-ion battery recycling company has announced they will be constructing their third recycling facility in Arizona. When completed, the “Spoke 3” facility will be capable of processing up to 10,000 tonnes of end-of-life batteries and battery manufacturing scrap per year, bringing Li-Cycle’s total recycling capacity to 20,000 tonnes per year.
The construction of Spoke 3 builds on Li-Cycle’s existing North American Spokes, located in Rochester, New York, and Kingston, Ontario, and is part of Li-Cycle’s strategic roadmap to construct twenty Spokes globally over the next five years.
The Phoenix metropolitan area is strategically located close to Li-Cycle’s existing battery supply network, as well as being at the nexus of where there will be continued growth in the quantity of lithium-ion batteries available for recycling.
Li-Cycle’s Spokes convert battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries into intermediate products, including “black mass”, a powder substance that contains a variety of metals, including lithium, cobalt, and nickel. The Spokes will supply black mass to Li-Cycle’s future North American Hub, which is currently in late-stage development in Rochester, New York.
The North American Hub will process black mass through a hydrometallurgical circuit to produce critical, battery-grade materials, including lithium carbonate, cobalt sulfate, and nickel sulfate, as well as other recycled materials that can be returned to the economy.
Li-Cycle’s patented Spoke & Hub Technologies™ minimize the overall environmental footprint of the end-to-end resource recovery process, and substantially reduce the intensity of GHG emissions that would otherwise be produced from mining these finite resources.
The imperative for economically and environmentally sustainable resource recycling is growing in lockstep with the rapid growth of battery manufacturing.
Li-Cycle utilizes its proprietary Spoke & Hub Technologies™ to achieve the industry-leading recovery rate of up to 95% resource mass recovery and to produce the critical battery materials underpinning the global growth in electric vehicle production.
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