The company and its partners will contribute another $10 million to fund the development of new lithium-ion battery recycling technologies.
POSTED BY CHRIS VOLOSCHUK | SEPTEMBER 27, 2023
American Battery Technology Co. (ABTC), a Reno, Nevada-based critical battery materials company, has received a contract grant award for its $20 million project from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a multipartner industry collaboration to demonstrate and commercialize new techniques for lithium-ion battery (LIB) recycling processes to manufacture low-cost and low-environmental impact domestic critical battery materials.
ABTC was one of five companies across the U.S. selected for the competitive funding under the battery recycling portion of the Electric Drive Vehicle Battery Recycling and Second Life Applications program from the DOE under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. ABTC and its partners say they intend to validate, test and deploy three new advanced separation and processing technologies to further enhance the economic competitiveness, reduce environmental impact and reintegrate a greater percentage of the constituent components to the domestic battery manufacturing market.
The contracted grant award has a project start date of Oct. 1, according to ABTC, which is serving as the prime recipient of the grant award. The company is working in partnership with three public universities, three national laboratories and one private corporation. Through the competitive grant award, the DOE will provide $10 million in direct funding, while ABTC and its partners will contribute an additional $10 million worth of cost-share resources, bringing the total project investment to $20 million.
“It is an important milestone to be commissioning the initial portion of our integrated lithium-ion battery recycling facility to be able to provide domestically produced low-cost and low-environmental impact battery metals to our strategic customers,” ABTC CEO Ryan Melsert says. “However, any company that is complacent with current technologies will not be competitive in the future, which is why we are also prioritizing our pipeline of new advanced technologies that are being evolved through our research, bench development, piloting and commercialization infrastructure.”
ABTC says it is currently implementing and commissioning the first phase of its commercial-scale integrated LIB recycling technologies at its facility located in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center. The processes utilize a strategic de-manufacturing and targeted chemical extraction train in order to recover battery materials with high yields, low cost and with a low environmental footprint. The company says these processes are different than conventional methods of battery recycling, which generally utilize either high temperature smelting or non-strategic shredding systems.
While the initial implementation of the LIB recycling system undergoes commissioning, ABTC says it, along with its partners, are developing enhanced separation and processing techniques in parallel at the laboratory and pilot scales that, when implemented into the commercial-scale system, will allow for the recovery of additional products and further reduction of energy and water consumption and lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.
Through the project, ABTC and its partners say they will validate and optimize each of these advanced technologies at the bench scale, then manufacture qualification batches of these products for evaluation and testing by downstream partners, followed by the scale-up of these advanced systems for integration into ABTC’s recycling operations.