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Li-Cycle, Ultium Cells LLC join forces for recycling of battery manufacturing scrap

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Li-Cycle Corp. has announced an agreement with Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture of General Motors and LG Energy Solution to recycle up to 100 percent of the scrap generated by battery cell manufacturing at Ultium's Lordstown, Ohio battery cell plant. Li-Cycle will recover the raw materials contained in the scrap, transforming them into valuable products and helping contribute to the circular economy.

As North America's electric vehicle (EV) production ramps up, Li-Cycle believes this recycling partnership will be an essential piece in closing the battery supply chain loop and enabling sustainable production of new EV batteries. When fully operational in 2022, the $2.3 billion Ultium Cells LLC plant in Lordstown will span three million square feet, with an annual capacity of approximately 35-gigawatt hours. Li-Cycle will enable Ultium Cells LLC to expand the materials it currently recycles and will play a key role in recycling efforts similar to joint venture partner GM's zero-waste initiative by rerouting battery manufacturing scrap back into the supply chain through this multi-year contract.

"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended," said Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC. "This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes."

"Our efforts with Ultium Cells LLC will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials into the battery supply chain," said Ajay Kochhar, Li-Cycle's president, CEO, and co-founder. "This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining."

Using Li-Cycle's patented Spoke & Hub Technologies at facilities in the United States, Li-Cycle will transform Ultium's battery manufacturing scrap into new battery-grade materials, including lithium carbonate, cobalt sulphate, and nickel sulphate, as well as other recycled materials that can be returned to the economy.

"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90 percent of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025," said Ken Morris, GM vice president of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles. "Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials." 

Author : Debi Dash
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