Li-Cycle Corp., an industry leader in lithium-ion battery resource recovery and the leading lithium-ion battery recycler in North America, has announced that its Alabama Spoke located in Tuscaloosa – Alabama – has started commercial operations.
The Alabama Spoke utilizes Li-Cycle’s patented and environmentally friendly technology to recycle and directly process full EV battery packs without any dismantling through a submerged shredding process that produces no wastewater. Additionally, Li-Cycle’s full pack processing capability improves efficiency and is fit to process the growing variety of EV battery architectures, including cell-to-pack formats that have limited options for dismantling, which further differentiates the Company’s value proposition.
The Alabama Spoke is strategically located to support the recycling needs of the Company’s growing battery supply customer base in the southeastern U.S. region. The development of the EV supply chain in the region continues to accelerate as battery and automotive manufacturers establish operations. This growth is expected to continue to produce a significant amount of battery production scrap and end-of life batteries that will require recycling.
“Li-Cycle’s new battery recycling facility in Tuscaloosa adds a dynamic new dimension to Alabama’s evolving auto industry,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said. “This facility will play an important role in the lifecycle of batteries powering electric vehicles by contributing an innovative sustainability solution.”
“We are excited to announce that our Alabama Spoke has commenced operations,” said Ajay Kochhar, co-founder and CEO of Li-Cycle. “This facility enhances our ability to support the recycling needs of our diverse and growing customer base in North America to ensure lithium-ion battery material is recycled in an environmentally friendly and safe manner. Li-Cycle is creating an essential domestic supply of recycled material to support EV production and assist automakers in meeting their domestic production content requirements.”
Li-Cycle’s Alabama Spoke is more than 100,000 square feet in size, with an additional approximately 120,000 square feet in warehousing capacity. The facility is of the same design as the Company’s Spoke in Arizona, which opened earlier this year and is currently operating near target throughput. The Alabama Spoke has created approximately 45 new jobs and will leverage the key process improvements and optimization projects implemented in Arizona to benefit operations. The Alabama Spoke has a total input processing capacity of 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery materials per year, and has the flexibility to expand processing capacity in the future.
Across its four operating Spokes in North America, Li-Cycle now has a total input processing capacity of 30,000 tonnes per year, or the equivalent of batteries from approximately 60,000 EVs. The four operating Spokes, which are located in Kingston, Ontario; Rochester, New York; Gilbert, Arizona; and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, ensure the Company has an established footprint in key strategic regions to maintain its first-mover advantage in the industry.
By the end of 2023, the Company expects to have a total of 65,000 tonnes per year of lithium-ion battery material processing capacity across its Spoke network in North America and Europe.
The primary output product of Li-Cycle’s Spokes is black mass, consisting of highly valuable critical metals, including lithium, cobalt and nickel, which the Company will convert into battery-grade materials at its first commercial North American Hub facility. The Hub facility is under construction in Rochester, NY and Li-Cycle expects that it will be capable of processing 35,000 tonnes of black mass annually, with battery materials equivalent to approximately 225,000 EVs. Li-Cycle is targeting to commence commissioning the Rochester Hub in calendar 2023. The Rochester Hub is expected to be the first commercial hydrometallurgical battery resource recovery facility and the first source of recycled battery-grade lithium carbonate production in North America. The Rochester Hub is expected to position the Company as a leading domestic supplier of battery-grade materials.