Canadian firm Li-Cycle is set to invest more than $175 million in its first commercial lithium-ion battery-recycling facility in New York.
Earmarked for Eastman Business Park (EBP) in Rochester, the Hub will be a hydrometallurgical facility that will refine battery-grade materials from ‘black mass’ generated from pre-processing spent lithium-ion batteries.
The proposed plant will have the capability of processing material from an equivalent of 60,000 metric tonnes of spent lithium-ion batteries, or around 120,000 electric vehicle battery packs.
Construction of the facility is set to begin next year and is planned to be fully operational in 2022.
The recycling facility will be in addition to Li-Cycle’s Spoke facility, set to begin producing ‘black mass’ from spent lithium-ion batteries at the park by the close of this year.
Together, the Hub (hydrometallurgical) and Spoke (mechanical safe size reduction) facilities will allow Li-Cycle to become a major producer of battery-grade materials in North America, specifically cobalt, nickel and lithium carbonate.
Tim Johnston, executive chairman and co-founder of Li-Cycle, said: “This facility will enable sustainable closed loop production of critical materials for the battery industry right here in North America, supporting the development of electric vehicles and other sustainable energy applications.”
He added: “We appreciate the continued support of the local community, government agencies and Kodak in the development of this project.” Perhaps a nod to the ongoing concerns raised by residents over a recycling plant in Endicott, New York, by SungEel MCC Americas.
Li-Cycle has previously run a demonstration Hub in Ontario, Canada, to determine key design criteria for the build out for its first commercial Hub.
Ajay Kochhar, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle, said: “Our team is excited to be at the vanguard of one of the last and important segments of the electric vehicle and battery supply chains that requires significant development – specifically, how to sustainably handle the incoming ‘tsunami’ of spent lithium-ion batteries.
“Without sustainable and economically viable lithium-ion battery recycling, it’s likely that electric vehicle proliferation will be substantially hindered. Truly innovative and circular battery recycling is the key to providing a solution for this urgent global challenge and opportunity.
“Our goal is to play a key role in ultimately reducing the cost of batteries and electric vehicles, thereby enabling the mass adoption of electrified transport.”