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black mass

American Manganese success in black mass trials and wins support from Canadian government

Fri, 09/10/2021 - 15:36 -- paul Crompton

American Manganese has reported the successful recycling of lithium-ion battery black mass into NMC-622 (nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide) cathode precursor.

The black mass feedstock was produced by mechanical size reduction from end-of-life lithium-ion batteries, using the Canada-based firm’s RecycLiCo closed-loop process.

The resulting powder substance contains battery materials, including: lithium, cobalt, nickel, and manganese, as well as copper, aluminium, and graphite. 

American Manganese (AMY) sourced the samples of black mass from an unnamed electric vehicle manufacturer for demonstration of its process and validation of its product.

Laboratory-scale testing of the black mass samples demonstrated a 99% leach extraction efficiency of lithium, nickel, manganese, and cobalt. 

The resulting pregnant leach solution was then adjusted to the desired ratio of nickel, manganese, and cobalt before the direct co-precipitation of the NMC-622 cathode precursor. 

AMY said that Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) scans showed its NMC-622 product shares the same technical specifications –particle morphology, size, and distribution – found in conventional lithium-ion battery cathode precursor materials produced from raw materials.

Government funding

This month AMY received advisory services and funding to support a pilot lithium-ion recycling project from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) Industrial Research Assistance Program.

The funding, delivered through NRC’s Fast Pilot in Foreign Markets program, is designed to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses overcome barriers to market entry and facilitate direct adoption of technology in foreign markets.

AMY will model, commission, and test a lithium-ion battery cathode material recycling demonstration plant to include continuous operation with specific cathode waste processing objectives, such as capacity, extraction efficiency, and material purity.

The pilot project is titled ‘Demonstration of Continuous Recycling of Cathode Material from Lithium-ion Battery Production Scrap’.

NRC provided advisory services and conditional funding to support AMY’s research and development project on the ‘Synthesis of Cathode Material Precursors from Recycled Battery Scrap’ project between November 4, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

The main objective of the project is to conduct a technical feasibility study on the synthesis of cathode material precursors with specific particle parameters.

The latest project is in collaboration with European gigafactory developer Italvolt, which is aiming to build a 45GWh, increasing to 70GWh, lithium-ion plant in Scarmagno, Italy. 

In March, the firm signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a commercial recycling plant alongside the Scarmagno plant.

The MOU is a response to the European Commission’s proposed Batteries Regulation, which aims to ensure batteries placed on the EU market are sustainable throughout their life cycle.

Italvolt founder Carlstrom also founded, and is a shareholder, of UK gigafactory hopeful Britishvolt.

 

In July, Britishvolt was granted planning permission to construct its first full-scale lithium-ion facility in Northumberland, UK.

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Bench tests show First Cobalt can recover key lithium-ion battery materials from black mass

Fri, 08/13/2021 - 16:00 -- paul Crompton
first cobalt refinery plant

First Cobalt Corp has extracted key lithium-ion materials from black mass collected from recycled batteries.

The Canadian firm’s bench-scale testing demonstrated its technology can extract lithium, nickel, cobalt, copper, manganese and graphite from black mass. 

The company is now working to leverage the existing operating permits, flowsheet and equipment at its Canadian hydrometallurgical refinery for the large-scale recycling of battery materials for reuse in the electric vehicle battery supply chain.

Metallurgical test work was conducted by SGS Labs on black mass material provided by upstream battery recyclers in the US and Europe. 

First Cobalt has hired an engineering firm to study the leaching of black mass within its existing refinery to produce nickel, cobalt, copper and manganese products using the existing flowsheet, and to produce lithium and graphite products with recommended modifications.

Completion of the engineering study is expected in Q4. 

If the study is successful, the firm intends to process black mass at the Canadian refinery facility on a pilot basis.

First Cobalt president and CEO, Trent Mell, said: ”There are many producers of black mass in the western world but few environmentally friendly options to then refine the product into battery grade material given the capital expenditure required and the permitting timeline associated with building a hydrometallurgical facility such as ours. 

“We intend to capitalise on this first-mover advantage and leverage our position as an ultra-low carbon operation.”

Under a Phase 1 expansion, the company aims to refine third-party cobalt hydroxide into a high purity, battery grade cobalt sulfate suitable for the electric vehicle market. 

Around 80% of cobalt sulfate is made in China and there is no production in North America. 

Longer term, the company’s aims to establish a battery park that would include large-scale production of nickel sulfate and the co-location of a battery precursor manufacturer.

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Recycler signs deal to produce black mass from used lithium-ion e-bus batteries

Fri, 01/22/2021 - 08:56 -- paul Crompton

Lithium-ion battery recycling company Li-Cycle Corp has completed its battery recycling pilot plant where the Canadian produced black mass— a mixture of lithium, nickel, cobalt and copper— from used lithium-ion batteries.

The Canadian firm received 45 end-of-life lithium-ion battery modules from e-busses totalling 3,200 pounds from New Flyer Industries Canada and New Flyer of America— subsidiaries of bus manufacturer NFI Group— in Q4 of 2020.

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Lithium-ion battery recycler to produce black mass at second North America plant

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 09:53 -- paul Crompton

Lithium-ion battery recycler facility Li-Cycle has opened a second plant to produce black mass for the battery industry in New York, US.

The Canadian firm’s Spoke 2 facility in Eastman Business Park in Rochester will produce an intermediate mixed battery material product (black mass) from all types of used lithium-ion batteries.

The facility has the capacity to process up to 5,000 tons of lithium-ion batteries per year.

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