Australian firm EcoGraf has claimed its proprietary purification process has been successfully applied to recycling battery materials from ‘production scrap’ and ‘black mass’.
In testing undertaken in collaboration with potential customers, the firm’s proprietary purification process has returned results of 98.6-100% carbon from production scrap and 98-99.6% from black mass.
Andrew Spinks, managing director, said: “Results are encouraging, however additional work in collaboration with customers is continuing to further refine the process.
“Further improvement is expected as the recycling programs using the EcoGrafTMprocess are optimised for this recycling purpose. The current tests were undertaken using the standard EcoGrafTMpurification flowsheet, which was configured for production of the purified of battery graphite from natural flake graphite concentrates.”
Natural and synthetic graphite are used as lithium-ion battery anode materials and the recovered anode material is a composite of both.
The market pricing for high purity natural graphite (>99% carbon), including batteries, carbon brushes, lubricants and powder metallurgy is up $4,500/t.
Synthetic graphite products range from $2,000/t to $20,000/t for niche synthetic materials.
Earlier this year, EcoGraf secured a promise of AUS$104 million ($72 million) from the country’s government to build a graphite refinery plant in Australia to supply the global lithium battery industry.
Export Finance Australia considered the provision of debt finance, subject to a detailed assessment, to fund the spherical graphite producer’s proposed battery graphite purification plant in Kwinana, Western Australia.