The US American company Ascend Elements has opened its commercial-scale lithium-ion battery recycling facility in the US state of. The company invested $50 million in the site and says it is “North America’s largest electric vehicle battery recycling facility” to date.
According to Ascend Elements, it can recover up to 98 per cent of critical metals used in lithium-ion batteries. To do so, the company uses its so-called ‘Hydro-to-Cathode’ process. “By engineering the composition and microstructure of lithium-ion cathode particles during the direct precursor synthesis phase of its Hydro-to-Cathode process, Ascend Elements can deliver custom-made battery materials to precise customer specifications,” Ascend Elements writes on its website.
Moreover, the process is said to be more efficient than others and more environmentally friendly. “The process recovers 98% of the critical battery metals in spent lithium-ion batteries and manufacturing scrap and produces new cathode material at half the cost and 90 per cent lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to similar cathode made with newly mined and refined metals.”
The site already began partial operation in August 2022 but has now finally reached its full capacity. It can process up to 30,000 tonnes of batteries and manufacturing scrap per year.
Ascend Elements is also looking to produce sustainable battery materials for electric vehicles in Kentucky. It should be completed towards the end of the year and will manufacture enough sustainable cathode material and precursors for up to 250,000 electric vehicle batteries per year.
prnewswire.com, ascendelements.com (hydro-to-cathode), ascendelements.com (video)