General Motors announced Tuesday that its Ultium battery joint venture with LG Chem is partnering with Li-Cycle to expand America’s battery recycling capabilities, promising to return up to 100% of the valuable materials used in battery construction to the market for re-use.
“Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain,” said Ajay Kochhar, Li-Cycle’s president and 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.”
Their new process will recover cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum from old EV batteries via a hydrometallurgical process which emits 30 percent less greenhouse gas than traditional processes, the companies said. GM says that any battery packs it has received from customers since 2013 (from service, warranty work or otherwise) have been recycled or refurbished, and those renewed packs are used to repair existing customer vehicles.