Battery recycler Li-Cycle has announced that its Alabama Spoke plant in Tuscaloosa has started commercial operations.
The Alabama Spoke uses Li-Cycle’s patented technology to recycle and directly process full EV battery packs without any dismantling through a submerged shredding process that produces no wastewater. Li-Cycle says its full pack processing capability improves efficiency, and can process the growing variety of EV battery architectures, including cell-to-pack formats that have limited options for dismantling.
The Alabama Spoke is strategically located to support the recycling needs of the company’s growing battery supply customer base in the southeastern US, where several battery and automotive manufacturers are establishing operations. This growth is expected to produce a significant amount of battery production scrap and end-of life batteries that will require recycling.
“This facility enhances our ability to support the recycling needs of our diverse and growing customer base in North America to ensure lithium-ion battery material is recycled in an environmentally friendly and safe manner,” said Ajay Kochhar, co-founder and CEO of Li-Cycle. “Li-Cycle is creating an essential domestic supply of recycled material to support EV production and assist automakers in meeting their domestic production content requirements.”
The Alabama Spoke has a total input processing capacity of 10,000 tons of lithium-ion battery materials per year, and has the flexibility to expand processing capacity in the future. It features the same design as Li-Cycle’s Arizona Spoke, which opened earlier this year and is currently operating near target throughput.
Together with its two other North American spokes—located in Kingston, Ontario and Rochester, New York—Li-Cycle now has a total input processing capacity of 30,000 tons per year, or the equivalent of batteries from approximately 60,000 EVs. By the end of 2023, the company expects to have a total of 65,000 tons per year of processing capacity across its Spoke network in North America and Europe.
The primary output product of Li-Cycle’s Spokes is black mass, consisting of valuable metals, including lithium, cobalt and nickel, which the company will convert into battery-grade materials at its first Hub facility, which is under construction in Rochester. Li-Cycle expects the Hub to be capable of processing 35,000 tons of black mass annually, with battery materials equivalent to approximately 225,000 EVs. Li-Cycle aims to begin commissioning the Rochester Hub in 2023.
Source: Li-Cycle Holdings