Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 20

CLOSING THE LOOP ON
EV BATTERY RECYCLING
The EV battery 'circle of life'
as seen by Argonne National
Laboratory's ReCell R&D center.
The metal remains a flash point. " Cobalt is a 'dead man walking' in
lithium-ion batteries, " said Lewis Black, who heads Almonty Partners
and has 15-years' experience in mining tungsten-another battery
metal, with a 50%-recycled supply.
The battery industry-aware of these issues-has steadily reduced
the amount of cobalt in its cells, but so far it remains an essential
metal. Nickel, also problematic, is often mined in an environmentally
destructive way. The massive Chinese-owned Ramu nickel mine in
Papua, New Guinea, for instance, was estimated to dump 680,000
tons of waste into Basamuk Bay annually, leading to a $5.2 billion
lawsuit from a local coalition.
More sustainable lithium mining, including a U.S. domestic supply, is
under development (see sidebar) but recovering the metal from used
EVs is a proven process. A ton of battery-grade lithium can be produced
from 250 tons of ore and 750 tons of brine, or from just 28 tons
of used lithium-ion batteries, the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DoE) said. The
only problem is that less than five percent of battery lithium was being
recovered in 2019, said DoE. But the industry is growing fast.
The big ramp-up
Kunal Phalpher is the chief strategy officer at Canada-based Li-Cycle,
whose stated purpose is to " recover critical materials from lithiumion
batteries and reintroduce them back into the supply chain. "
20 October 2022
Phalpher said Li-Cycle takes whole packs and shreds
them, producing plastic, copper and aluminum that
can be sold on to recyclers. Using hydrometallurgy the
company develops so-called " black mass, " containing
cobalt, lithium and nickel. " At high purity levels, it can
go back into the supply chain and help create domestic
sources, " Phalpher said.
Li-Cycle, which went public on the NY Stock Exchange
in 2021 through a SPAC deal, estimates that approximately
15 million tons of lithium-ion batteries will have
reached the end of life by 2030, up from 1.7 million tons
by 2020. The company has a " hub and spoke " organization:
The spokes create the black mass from scrap batteries,
and the hubs separate out the metals and prepare
them to reenter the supply chain. Last April, LG Chem
and LG Energy Solution chose Li-Cycle as their preferred
recycling partner for North American operations-providing
black mass to the hubs. Soon after, Glencore said it
would supply scrap and end-of-life li-ion batteries to LiCycle
and like LG Chem, will " offtake " black mass and
other materials from the recycler.
Another Li-Cycle partner is General Motors. By 2023,
Li-Cycle will launch a recycling center near GM's
Ultium battery-cell plant in Ohio. Li-Cycle opened its
AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING
ANL

Automotive Engineering - October 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive Engineering - October 2022

Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - Intro
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - Sponsor1
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - CVRA
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - CVRB
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - CVR1
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - CVR2
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 1
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 2
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 3
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 4
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 5
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 6
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 7
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 8
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 9
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 10
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 11
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 12
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 13
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 14
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 15
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 16
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 17
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 18
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 19
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 20
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 21
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Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 27
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 28
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Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 33
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 34
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 35
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - CVR4
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