Li-Cycle to build third lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Arizona

by Michael Green
Li-Cycle's demonstration hub in Ontario and (inset) Tim Johnston.
Canada-based Li-Cycle has announced plans to build its third commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility in the US state of Arizona.

The facility, to be built in the Phoenix metropolitan area, will be capable of processing up to 10,000 tonnes of end-of-life batteries and battery manufacturing scrap per year – taking Li-Cycle’s total recycling capacity to 20,000 tonnes annually.

The plant builds on Li-Cycle’s existing North American ‘spoke’ operations – in Rochester, New York and Kingston, Ontario – and is part of the company’s plan to build 20 such facilities over the next five years.

In the first step of the firm’s patented, two-part ‘spoke and hub’ process, batteries are shipped to an initial spoke location, where the materials are mechanically processed.

'Doubling capacity'

The company uses a wet chemical process to recover 80-100% of all materials found in lithium-ion batteries, "while maintaining no wastewater discharge”.

Co-founder and executive chairman, Tim Johnston, said: "Our Arizona Spoke will have two 5,000-tonne processing lines, effectively doubling our total recycling capacity in North America. It will also be engineered to directly process full electric vehicle packs without any dismantling.”

Li-Cycle, founded in Ontario in 2016, said last February it was set to go public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company Peridot Acquisition Corp. The business combination deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021.

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