American Manganese has started testing lithium-ion battery materials recycling at a pilot plant in British Columbia.
Company ceo Larry Reaugh says this is part an ambitious plan to construct several recycling plants capable of processing 50-100 tonnes of batteries per day, thus pushing the envelope for cobalt, lithium nickel, manganese and aluminum recovery.
Kemetco Research, the processing partner of American Manganese, has recently conducted the first tests on select samples of cathode scrap materials at the pilot facility. The material being analysed consists of battery scrap, with experiments to continue for about six weeks.
The pilot plant process has five steps; pre-treatment of cathode material; leaching of active material; purification; recovery of base metals; and, finally, lithium recovery and water recycling. This results in the ‘100% extraction of cathode metals at battery-grade purity’.
Reaugh is confident that once the materials have been analysed American Manganese will scale up the project to a larger plant later this year. The ceo points out that there is ‘no trepidation’ about the next phase in this innovative recycling endeavour.
Norman Chow, Ketmetco’s president adds: ‘The commencement of the pilot plant operations marks a significant step in American Manganese’s quest to prove its patent-approved lithium-ion battery recycling technology.’
Based on growing interest from companies in Europe, Reaugh projects American Manganese will set up some battery recycling plants in outside of North America as well.
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