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Partners close the loop on battery manufacture

Ascend Elements is partnering with SK Battery America (SKBA) to recycle both cell and module lithium-ion battery scrap from the company’s manufacturing facility in Commerce, Georgia.

The recovered battery material will be recycled at Ascend Elements’ new 14 300m² recycling facility in Covington, Georgia, which can recover 98% of battery materials to return critical elements to the supply chain.

‘People often think lithium-ion battery recycling is just for end-of-life batteries, but waste from the cell manufacturing process is the biggest segment of the battery recycling market right now,’ says Michael O’Kronley, ceo of Ascend Elements, which was previously known as Battery Resourcers.

Ascend Elements raised US$ 90 million (EUR 81.4 million) in 2021 to expand its battery recycling and cathode manufacturing operations. It envisions this will become North America’s largest such facility, with a processing capacity of 30 000 tonnes per year.

The site is scheduled to be fully operational later this year and the company plans to expand its commercial recycling and battery materials manufacturing operations over the next two years.

O’Kronley insists that lithium-ion battery recycling and materials recovery must become standard operating practice across the industry to minimise society’s dependence on mining.

‘Our vision is to create a circular supply chain in the United States for electric vehicle batteries from raw materials to recycling,’ adds Alex Yarbrough, environmental engineer at SK Battery America. ‘We will move forward with Ascend Elements to improve the overall carbon-reduction value of electric vehicles.’

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