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Giga-recycling factories needed to recycle millions of batteries

Battery Resourcers ceo Mike O’Kronley

Battery Resourcers plans to invest millions in the construction of a commercial-scale lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Covington, Georgia.

The 154 000-square-foot facility is expected to be fully operational in August, with a price tag of almost US$ 45 million (EUR 39.7 million). This would make it North America’s largest battery recycling plant with capacity of 30 000 tonnes per year. The site will create 150 new jobs and produce battery grade lithium, cobalt and nickel back to serve the battery supply chain.

‘As demand for electric vehicles increases, industry analysts and the federal government agree the United States needs to build a sustainable battery recycling infrastructure. The opening of this facility will help meet that demand,’ observes Michael O’Kronley, ceo and Director of Battery Resourcers. He says automotive OEMs are ‘sitting on mountains of discarded batteries and scrap’ but they have very few options for responsible and cost-effective disposal.

‘As an industry, we need to match the capacity of the gigafactories producing millions of batteries with our own gigarecycling facilities that can recycle millions of batteries,’ O’Kronley adds. The facility’s next-generation technology is said to be instrumental to securing enough battery materials in the near future.

The opening of the Covington facility marks the first phase of Battery Resourcers’ strategic expansion. Plans are already in motion to open an additional facility for precursor and cathode-active material production in 2023 using the company’s patented Hydro-to Cathode technology.

Compared to mining and production of new materials, this innovative approach is said to be 93% cleaner at a 59% lower cost. Battery Resourcers cites a recent study concluding that recycled cathode from the Hydro-to-Cathode process outperforms new cathode materials in terms of cycle life by as much as 53%.

O’Kronley points out the company’s long-term plans include opening additional facilities in North America, Europe and Asia to process up to 150 000 tonnes of lithium-ion material globally per year.

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