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."