American Manganese set to produce first test batch of precursor materials

by Michael Green
Canadian battery materials and recycling company American Manganese (AM) is preparing to produce its first test batch of cathode precursor materials in its specialised cathode reactor.

Testing of the reactor, acquired from an Asian supplier and installed last year by AM’s contract research lab, Kemetco Research, is part of a technical feasibility study funded by the National Research Council of Canada.

AM said the reactor is capable of producing modern cathode materials such as lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide (NMC) and lithium-nickel-cobalt-aluminium oxide (NCA) – to supply the growing electric vehicle batteries market.

The reactor will first undergo water testing before introducing purified NMC and NCA leach solutions produced during the pilot plant’s patented RecycLiCo process.

'Closed-loop viability'

President and CEO Larry Reaugh said: "The production of high-quality cathode precursor material, in a minimal number of steps, lends added value to our recycled product and shows the viability of our closed-loop recycling method."

"The engineering and process parameter experiments throughout our pilot plant project offer a valuable tool to incorporate into larger commercial projects.”

AM announced last spring that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Voltabox of Texas – a subsidiary of German lithium-ion battery systems supplier Voltabox – with the aim of providing end-of-life lithium-ion batteries for commercial-scale recycling of cathode materials using the RecycLiCo process.

In September, AM said Kemetco Research had further optimised the processing capacity of the pilot plant’s pre-leach stage from 160kg per day to 292 kg/day of lithium-ion battery cathode scrap material.