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Li-Cycle to open lithium battery recycling facility in Phoenix

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 16th April

Lithium battery recycler Li-Cycle Corp. will build its third commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility in North America, to be located in Gilbert, Arizona, within the Phoenix metropolitan area. It will join Li-Cycle’s existing facilities in Rochester, New York, and Kingston, Ontario.

When complete, Li-Cycle’s “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 roadmap to construct 20 Spokes globally over the next five years. The Phoenix metropolitan area is 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.

“Once completed, our newest Spoke facility will add significant recycling capacity to Li-Cycle, strategically expanding the geographic footprint of our closed-loop solution for recycling lithium-ion battery materials,” said Tim Johnston, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Li-Cycle. “Our Arizona Spoke will have two 5,000-tonne processing lines, effectively doubling our total recycling capacity in North America. It will also be engineered to directly process full electric vehicle packs without any dismantling. Spoke 3 will mark another important milestone as we continue to execute on our global growth plans and scale our sustainable, safe and innovative Spoke & Hub Technologies.”

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 sulphate and nickel sulphate, 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 greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise be produced from mining these finite resources.

Spoke & Hub Technologies can achieve a recovery rate of up to 95% resource mass recovery. Legacy recycling technologies have largely relied on thermal operations, which can emit harmful emissions and result in lower recovery rates. The company’s two-stage battery recycling model enables customers to benefit from a safe and environmentally friendly solution for recycling all types of lithium-ion materials.

News item from Li-Cycle