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Green Li-ion to launch first lithium-ion battery recycling technology in Singapore

New EPR framework for e-waste to take effect starting in 2021

lithium-ion battery recycling technology

Greentech startup Green Li-ion has developed a patented multi-cathode processor GLMC-1 that recycles spent lithium-ion batteries directly into 99.9% pure cathodes, speeding up current recycling processes by more than 10 times and lowering costs by more than 4 times.

According to the company, lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are now the world's preferred source of portable energy, but with a functional lifespan of only 1 to 3 years. However, up to 95% of these batteries end up as e-waste in landfills, and in Singapore, about 60,000 tonnes of e-waste is generated per year, while simultaneously, Green Li-ion's only landfill at Pulau Semakau is expected to run out of space by 2035. 

In an attempt to curb this trend, the Singapore Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and National Environment Agency have introduced an extended producer responsibility (EPR) framework for e-waste, which takes effect starting from 2021. 

However, the EPR deadlines mean local electronic producers are now scrambling to take on responsibility for the collection and proper treatment of e-waste, but current LIB recycling options are not economically viable, resulting in a 5% recycling rate. 

Green Li-ion co-founders Leon Farrant and Dr Reza Katal.

Two environmentalists and co-founders of greentech startup Green Li-ion, Leon Farrant (CEO) and Dr Reza Katal (CTO), have spent over a decade perfecting a solution to this. With their combined expertise in chemical and environmental engineering, the pair has developed a patented multi-cathode processor GLMC-1 that recycles spent lithium-ion batteries directly into 99.9% pure cathodes, speeding up current recycling processes by more than 10 times and lowering costs by more than 4 times.

With extensive institutional and industry support, Green Li-ion's first GLMC-1 will be ready to begin operations in October 2020 and the second GLMC-1 will be operational in January 2021. Green Li-ion is currently in talks with all six of Singapore's main e-waste recycling companies and major global e-recycling players in Dubai and China to supply GLMC-1 to their facilities.

According to Green Li-ion, as the circular economy becomes increasingly crucial and the end of life legislation starts to impact battery manufacturers, purity and efficiency of LIB recycling will be key to sustainability.

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