Li-Cycle's new lithium-ion battery recycling hub to drive international expansion
Li-Cycle, North America's largest lithium-ion battery recycling company, has 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.
"Li-Cycle is at the forefront of perhaps the most important segment of the electric vehicle and battery supply chain," said Li-Cycle CEO Ajay Kochhar. "This is a market that requires significant development - specifically when it comes to handling the incoming tsunami of spent lithium-ion batteries. Without sustainable and economically viable lithium-ion battery recycling, we believe it's likely that electric vehicle proliferation will be substantially hindered. Our newest investment partners have the vision to see that truly innovative and circular battery recycling is the key to providing a solution for this urgent global challenge and opportunity."
Li-Cycle was founded in 2016 in Toronto, Ontario with the vision to solve the global end-of-life lithium-ion battery problem and creating a secondary supply to meet the demand for critical battery materials through innovative recycling technology. Historically, most lithium-ion battery recycling processes have treated the product as waste and a liability. Li-Cycle has reinvented the recycling process by developing and validating a patented technology that enables recoveries of at least 95% of all materials found in lithium-ion batteries through a zero-waste process. This compares to the industry norm of less than 50% recovery.
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.
Today, Li-Cycle is the largest lithium-ion battery recycler in North America, with 10,000 tonnes/yr of Spoke capacity. 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.