Li-Cycle opens 140,000 square-foot lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Arizona
Arizona presents an opportunity for lithium-ion battery recycling due to the emerging electric vehicle (EV) supply chain in the region, as well as its close proximity to large markets such as California, which are expected to produce an increasing supply of end-of-life batteries available for recycling from EVs, energy storage projects, and consumer electronics.
Li-Cycle's Arizona Spoke facility utilizes technology that processes full EV battery packs without dismantling them manually, making recycling of those battery packs safer, sustainable, and more labour efficient. The facility is strategically located close to the company's existing battery and manufacturing scrap supply network in the Southwestern United States, which helps to optimize logistics and other efficiencies for recycling services.
"We are excited Li-Cycle's innovative battery recycling facility has commenced operations," said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. "Li-Cycle's Arizona Spoke will increase EV battery recycling capabilities, strengthening Arizona's battery and electric vehicle supply chains while creating quality jobs in the community."
"We are pleased to announce that our Arizona Spoke is operational," said Richard Storrie, Regional President, Americas of Li-Cycle. "This new state-of-the-art facility enhances our ability to serve the recycling needs of our customers, while significantly increasing our operational recycling capacity. We're also creating an additional domestic source of critical metals to be transformed and supply lithium-ion battery production."
Li-Cycle held a grand opening earlier in May 2022 at the 140,000-square-foot facility as it made its official debut. At the event, Li-Cycle was joined by its customers, local government officials, and others connected to the Gilbert community and surrounding area in celebration of a momentous occasion for Li-Cycle and the region's lithium-ion battery supply chain.
Li-Cycle's Alabama Spoke, which is of the same design as the Arizona Spoke, is scheduled to be operational in the company's third-quarter of 2022. When both the Arizona and Alabama Spokes are operational, Li-Cycle will have a total processing capacity of 30,000 tonnes per annum. By the end of 2023, the company expects to have a total of 65,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery processing capacity per annum, across its Spokes in North America and Europe.
The primary output product of the Arizona Spoke is black mass, consisting of a number of highly valuable critical metals, including lithium, cobalt, and nickel, which Li-Cycle will convert into battery-grade materials at its first North American Hub facility, which is under construction in Rochester, New York. Li-Cycle expects that the Hub will be capable of processing 35,000 tonnes of black mass annually, with targeted commissioning in 2023.