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Revolutionizing Battery Recycling Green Li-ion Launches Pioneering Facility in North America

iconApr 19, 2024 23:23
Green Li-ion has completed the construction of a state-of-the-art battery recycling facility in Oklahoma, USA, capable of converting black matter into battery-grade precursor cathode active material (pCAM) of up to 99 per cent purity. The technology can be seamlessly integrated into existing recycling infrastructures and is expected to improve the sustainability and profitability of the battery recycling market. SMM expects...

Green Li-ion has launched a groundbreaking facility in North America, distinguished by its capability to transform black mass directly into precursor cathode active materials (pCAM). This plant is situated within an existing recycling facility in the Atoka Heavy Industrial Park in Oklahoma, USA, which has a daily production capacity of 2 tons of battery-grade pCAM. Capacity is expected to grow to 8 tonnes per day over the next year.

The facility utilizes an innovative and sophisticated hydrometallurgical technique, enabling the deployment of numerous low-cost units within current recycling structures. These units can be operational in just a few months and can convert crushed battery components into pCAM in just 12 hours. This process not only achieves a 99% purity level but also cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% compared to conventional raw material processing.

The pCAM, comprising essential metals like nickel and cobalt, can be marketed to CAM or battery manufacturers. The cathode active material (CAM), which is critical to battery manufacturing, is derived from pCAM.

Significant tax incentives for battery and module manufacturing are provided under the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act. However, there are challenges in building a local supply chain for essential metals such as pCAM, CAM and upstream compounds. Therefore battery reusing and recycling will be even more important in the foreseeable future. Some information suggests that Green Li-ion also plans to implement its technology directly at battery factories.

SMM believes that Green Li-ion's vertically integrated recycling project has a greater advantage over traditional pyro and hydro-metallurgy in the current downturn in the price of lithium compounds and other raw materials. If it can maintain reasonably low production costs, Green Li-ion, which integrates more production processes, will have more profit margins to survive during the market downturn. Meanwhile, the mandatory requirement for localisation rates in the tax credits associated with the Inflation Reduction Act is also likely to create forwardation in North America, which will create more profit margins for Green Li-ion and similar US-based companies.

Author: Yaoning Liu | Analyst Associate, Lithium Battery | London Office, Shanghai Metals Market

Email: edenliu@smm.cn

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