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UK-US partnership to scale-up direct lithium-ion battery cathode recycling

Fri, 09/10/2021 - 15:44 -- paul Crompton

UK and US firms have partnered to improve the sustainability of lithium-ion battery manufacturing by using direct cathode recycling methods. 

UK firm Johnson Matthey and the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) will partner with US firm OnTo Technology on the project involving direct recycling of lithium-ion battery production scrap.

Johnson Matthey has entered into an agreement to scale up OnTo Technology OnTo’s patented process for the direct recycling of lithium-ion battery scrap in collaboration with UKBIC.

Part funding for the feasibility stage of the project is from the UK Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) in partnership with Innovate UK.

OnTo’s patented Cathode Healing process restores the coating material to be used in making new batteries. 

A Johnson Matthey spokesman told BEST: “The project is aimed at a demonstration unit that can be scaled-up directly to a commercial unit that can meet the need of cell manufacturers.

“The project is focused on cell manufacturing scrap rather than scrap batteries. The demonstration unit will take material from UKBIC’s cell production line and directly from cell manufacturers.

“The objectives of the project is to scale up OnTo’s patented direct cathode recycling technology, which so far has been developed at laboratory scale, to a scale at which the feasibility of a commercial recycling unit can be demonstrated. 

“A successful method of recycling cell scrap with make a significant overall contribution to the manufacturing efficiency of lithium-ion cell manufacturing, increasing the recycled content of new batteries.”

Matthew Dobson, UKBIC’s principal engineer, said: “The recycling of batteries is an important part of developing a sustainable UK value chain and aligns with our objective of enabling a route to Net Zero." 

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China's Lomon Billions to enter lithium-ion battery market with new material plants

Mon, 08/23/2021 - 12:09 -- paul Crompton

China materials firm Lomon Billions plans to enter the battery industry by building three lithium-ion cathode and anode material production facilities. 

The proposed plants in China will cover lithium iron phosphate and titanium dioxide production. 

A 200,000 tonnes-per-year (t/yr) facility for battery-grade iron phosphate will be built in Qinyang city, in the Henan province, over three phases: two 50,000 t/yr stages and a 100,000 t/yr stage.

Another 200,000 t/yr facility is proposed for Henan's Jiaozuo city to ensure feedstock supplies for the lithium iron phosphate project. 

Lomon Billions is planning to construct a 100,000 t/yr plant for artificial lithium-ion battery anode material in Jiaozuo developed in two phases, with 25,000 t/yr and 75,000 t/yr capacity respectively. 

It will also invest 700mn yuan ($108 million) to expand titanium dioxide production in Jiaozuo by 100,000 t/yr. Its total titanium dioxide capacity is 1 million t/yr. 

Details including the construction schedules and launch dates were undisclosed. 

China upping materials production

Chinese companies, including cobalt refinery Jinchuan Group and diversified new energy firm Ningbo Shanshan, have expanded their battery cathode and anode materials production capacity for power.

Jinchuan is on track to raise its production capacity for nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) precursors by 100,000 t/yr in China's Gansu province. 

Shanshan is projected to build a 200,000 t/yr production facility for anode material in China's Sichuan province. 

Domestic power battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) has unveiled plans to increase its lithium-ion battery capacity by 137GWh/yr through five production projects in the next three years.

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Japanese mining firm eyes 10,000 t/m lithium-ion cathode material output

Fri, 07/16/2021 - 09:40 -- paul Crompton
Sumitomo Metal Mininglogo

Metals firm Sumitomo Metal Mining (SMM) is set to expand its production capacity of lithium-ion cathode materials for electric vehicle batteries. 

Plans include establishing a new plant in the Besshi area (Niihama City, Ehime Prefecture) and expanding production capacity at its Harima Refinery (Harima-cho, Kako-gun, Hyogo Prefecture), both in Japan.

The production capacity of cathode material is planned to be 2,000t/month.

The new plant for nickel-based cathode materials will be opposite SMM’s existing cathode material plant.

Overall capital expenditures for both sites will include: 40 billion yen for the new plant and seven billion yen for the Harima Refinery. 

Construction work is due to be completed in 2025. 

SMM said the production processes will consist of state-of-the-art equipment so the cathode materials can be produced from the start of operation. 

In its 2018 three-year business plan, SMM set a goal of reaching a production capacity of 10,000t/month of cathode material by the end of the 2024. 

This project is adopted by the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as a “Program for Promoting Investment in Japan to Strengthen Supply Chains.” 

SMM will use this grant appropriately in our business to promote the development of Japanese industries. 

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Cathode joint development agreement to supply lithium-ion battery market

Mon, 06/21/2021 - 08:22 -- paul Crompton
Cathode joint development agreement to supply lithium-ion battery market

Battery materials firm Nano One Materials Corp and Johnson Matthey have signed a joint development agreement to co-develop next generation cathode products.

The agreement will focus on developing materials, methods of production and a detailed commercialisation study for pre-pilot, pilot and scaled up manufacturing. 

Johnson Matthey will use Nano One's patented one-pot process and coated nanocrystal technology in its eLNO® portfolio of nickel-rich advanced cathode materials.

The one-pot process is designed to form a cathode material known as ‘coated single crystal’, which enables the materials to be made directly from metal powders and lithium carbonate. 

The agreement is the culmination of successful technical reviews and preliminary evaluations of both Nano One's high-nickel cathode materials and IP conducted over the past year.

The deal represents a significant milestone in the business relationship between both companies.

Christian Gunther, chief executive, battery materials at Johnson Matthey said the firms’ technology has the potential advantages in terms of product performance, sustainability and manufacturing cost.

Johnson Matthey aims to make 10,000 million tonnes per annum of its eLNO at a plant scheduled to open next year in Konin, Poland.

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US researchers open door for magnesium batteries to disrupt the ESS market

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 09:36 -- paul Crompton

Researchers from the University of Houston and the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA) have developed a new cathode and electrolyte that could help magnesium batteries compete with lithium-ion.

The teams have demonstrated a magnesium battery capable of operating at room temperature and delivering a power density comparable to that offered by lithium-ion batteries.

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Umicore secures EIB funding to develop European lithium-ion battery cathode plant

Mon, 06/15/2020 - 10:09 -- paul Crompton

Materials technology firm Umicore has finalised a €125 million ($141 million) loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) as it looks to develop a lithium-ion battery cathode plant in Europe.

The proceeds of the loan, which has a maturity of eight years, will finance part of the Belgium firm’s investment in the cathode materials plant in Nysa. 

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Engineering upgrades helps boost lithium-ion cathode recycling plant capacity by 150%

Thu, 06/11/2020 - 12:05 -- paul Crompton

Metals firm American Manganese has more than doubled the capacity of its pilot lithium-ion battery cathode recycling plant in the US through engineering upgrades. 

The Canadian company raised capacity from 64 kg/day to 160 kg/day by adding thermal control of exothermic reactions that enable the plant to operate at higher pulp density. 

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Russian scientists develop alternative cathode material for metal-ion batteries

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 12:08 -- paul Crompton

Scientists from Russia’s Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) have created a metal-ion cathode material based on titanium fluoride phosphate.

Researchers at Soltech’s Center for Energy Science and Technology (CEST) have reported their KTiPO4F cathode has exhibited a high electrochemical potential and “unprecedented” stability at high charge/discharge rates.

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Scientists in China develop high-performance lithium-sulfur battery cathode

Wed, 04/22/2020 - 14:06 -- paul Crompton

Scientists at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a cathode they claim will increase the performance capabilities of lithium-sulfur batteries.

Teams led by professor Jian Liu (pictured) and professor Zhongshuai Wu have increased the catalytic activity and sulfur loading of lithium-sulfur batteries by using a mesoporous carbon nanoreactor decorated with Fe1-xS electrocatalyst nanoparticles (Fe1-xS-NC) as the cathode. 

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Sion Power’s prototype lithium-metal cell shows EV market promise

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 13:08 -- paul Crompton

Lithium-metal battery developer Sion Power has announced promising results from its demonstration cell that uses a metallic lithium anode and nickel-rich commercial cathode material.

The US firm tested the 1.8Ah prototype cell which it is developing for electric vehicle applications requiring high energy density, increased cycle life, and fast charging capability.

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