Altilium Metals presents details of upcoming recycling plant

Altilium Metals has announced new key points about its planned EV battery recycling plant on Teesside in northeast England. Altilium now intends to provide around 20 per cent of the UK’s cathode active materials (CAM) demand in 2030.

Altilium Metals says it recently received approval from the UK Environment Agency to recycle ‘black mass’ from electric vehicle batteries on a large scale. The UK-based company also points to an initial successful demonstration of its technology in a newly opened analytical laboratory and a now-completed six-month feasibility study funded in part by the U.K. government’s Automotive Transformation Fund.

According to the feasibility study, 150,000 metric tons of cathode active materials (CAM) will be needed annually around 2030 for batteries to power UK-made e-vehicles. Altilium Metals plans to provide 20 percent of this: That’s because the planned recycling plant in Teesside is expected to produce 30,000 metric tons of CAM per year, which will be recovered from end-of-life batteries from electric vehicles and waste from battery factories. The company cites a processing capacity in the order of 50,000 tons of ‘black mass’. According to the company, various battery chemistries such as LFP, NMC and LCO can be processed.

In addition to the recycling plant itself, Altilium Metals also plans to build a chemical plant at Teesside that will produce 95,000 metric tons of battery precursors such as lithium carbonate and nickel sulfate. Altilium Metals does not specify a date for the planned startup of the facilities, nor does it specify the exact location. An earlier report said Altilium would receive £3 million in funding from the British government and create 200 full-time jobs.

Green Lithium also wants to build a lithium refinery in Teesside. Like Altilium Metals, however, the UK still lacks customers. Britishvolt had to file for bankruptcy earlier this year, and the gigafactory project is likely to be taken over by the US-Australian company Recharge Industries, but Recharge Industries is reportedly focusing more on the stationary storage market and automotive niche applications. The only cell production project in the UK that is ready for the automotive industry is that of Envision AESC in the vicinity of the Nissan plant in Sunderland, England.

In 2022, Altilium opened an electric vehicle battery technology center in Devon to use a processing line to gather data to make “informed decisions about material handling, scalability and product quality”. Altilium says it also owns a hydrometallurgical recycling facility on “the largest copper mine waste resource in Eastern Europe” and is currently developing that facility to recycle battery waste from 24,000 electric vehicles per year starting in late 2023. The announcement does not specify where exactly the site will be located.


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