Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling
We See Waste as a Resource
The majority of end-of-life batteries are currently treated as waste rather than as a valuable source of battery materials. Battery metals do not degrade when recycled, so they can be reused indefinitely. The recovery and recycling of battery materials conserves natural resources, creates a renewable energy source, lessens the need to mine for virgin resources, and decreases single-use materials ending up in landfills.
Battery Metals Supply Chain
Traditionally, the battery metal supply chain has worked in a more linear fashion starting with primary metals, like lithium, first harvested or extracted from ores and brines in the ground. These metals are refined by large chemical refining companies, and then manufactured into high energy density active cathode material. These synthesized cathode materials are then sold to battery cell manufacturers to make batteries. The battery cell manufacturers then sell their materials to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), such as large automotive vehicle companies.
Our Novel, In-House Recycling Process
We have pioneered a closed-loop battery recycling process that separates and recovers critical materials from end-of-life batteries and purifies these battery metals to the same, or higher, quality specifications than conventional materials sourced from virgin mining operations. Our process is highly streamlined and efficient with potential to process materials within a very short residence time.
Our ABTC team designed this integrated battery recycling system based on a strategic de-manufacturing approach. Instead of utilizing brute force methods common today, where batteries are placed in high temperature furnaces (smelting), or in shredding or grinding systems, we’ve instead developed a ‘de-manufacturing’ process to extract metals and recover materials from spent batteries. Our recycling process utilizes an automated deconstruction process combined with a targeted hydrometallurgical, non-smelting process that deconstructs battery packs to modules, modules to cells, cells to subcell components, and then sorting and separating those subcell components in a strategic fashion. Because of our uniquely pioneered recycling process, we are able to realize greater net benefits than current conventional methods. These include reduction of waste, conservation of natural resources including water, decreased air pollution associated with smelting, increased operational efficiencies, higher material recovery rates, and capture of battery grade materials with no degradation of quality compared to conventional virgin sourced materials.
- Avoidance of air and liquid pollutant emissions through strategic design, no high-temperature operations.
- Separation of low value materials early in the processing train allows for high recovery and purity of high value products.
- Metal products manufactured to meet battery cathode specifications are able to re-enter supply chain in closed-loop fashion.
- Throughput of recycling facilities equal to that of manufacturing facilities, per region.
- Low capital costs, through avoidance of high-temperature operations and minimal generation of waste.
- Short processing residence times through high-speed strategic disassembly and material handling.