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UK battery recycler moves into top gear

Worker installing an electric vehicle battery at a production hub in Vietnam.

British battery recycler Recyclus Group has been given full regulatory approval to process 22 000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries each year at its LiBatt facility in Wolverhampton.

The company says it is the UK’s first industrial-scale lithium-ion battery recycling centre and it is looking to process 8 300 tonnes in its first year. The plan is to scale up to the permitted 22 000 tonnes by 2025.

LiBatt opened in July and has completed its commissioning phase with bulk liquid nitrogen tanks installed to facilitate continuous processing. Recyclus says its technology is compatible with all lithium-ion battery chemistries and can also process lithium metal – said to be the first industrial-scale plant in Europe with this capability.

The site can also store up to 100 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries, equivalent to around 200 EV batteries.
Director and co-founder Robin Brundle adds: ‘We are now able to commence commercial operations which represents a significant step towards the realisation of our planned processing rate.

By using cutting-edge recycling solutions at our facility, we aim to tackle the challenge of spent batteries, playing a pivotal role in the electrification transition and forging a sustainable circular economy in the UK.’

In July, Recycling International reported that Recyclus had invested £6 million (EUR 7 million) in the recycling of batteries in electric vehicles, e-bikes, mobile phones, computer lap-tops and industrial applications.

It plans a further four such plants that in the UK and believes it can supply up to 20% of the UK’s requirements for rare metals needed for batteries from recycling.

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