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Recycling Power

February 2022 battery circular economy trends, announcements and news from Australia and around the world

Highlights: Australian battery industry and recycling news + tools and research to support improved management of lithium-ion battery fires + a raft of annoucnements showing collaboration between battery manufacturers, OEMs, technology companies and/or recyclers to develop lithium-ion battery circular economy solutions.

  1. Wrap up of Australian battery industry and recycling news
  2. Tools and research to support improved management of lithium-ion battery fires
  3. Japanese OEMs, battery manufacturers and research institution collaborating to develop and manufacture low carbon, low cost and recycled battery materials
  4. North American lithium-ion recycling capacity rapidly expanding
  5. Norway – closing the lithium-ion battery value chain loop through a joint venture with manufacturers and recyclers
  6. UK – developing an efficient value chain for recycling EV lithium-ion batteries
  7. Become an ABRI member
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1. WRAP UP OF AUSTRALIAN BATTERY INDUSTRY AND RECYCLING NEWS

In Australia, governments continue to support development of Australia’s battery value chain. Announcements of interest include:

  • Queensland Government is investing in a vanadium mine which is expected to begin operating in 2023.
  • Victorian Government and Australian Research Council Training Centre in Future Energy Storage Technologies (storEnergy) hosted the Victorian Manufacturing Battery Industry roundtable. A final report on challenges and opportunities for the Victorian battery sector is due in early 2022.
  • Western Australia – A Battery Minerals Profile – December 2021 highlights the state’s diversity of battery mineral resources
  • In NSW, Sunrise Energy Metals has been granted Major Project Status for its $2.4 billion Sunrise Battery Materials Complex project near Condobolin. The project will develop and operate a nickel/cobalt mine and a battery materials processing and recycling facility.
  • Queensland Government has announced it’s developing a Battery Industry Strategy
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2. TOOLS AND RESEARCH TO SUPPORT IMPROVED MANAGEMENT OF LITHIUM-ION BATTERY FIRES

Focus on improving management of lithium-ion battery fires remains a high priority. For those interested in this topic, here are links to videos released in January 2022:

For those interested in further information on this topic EV Safe has developed a database on EV fires and tools to help first responders.

Fire and Rescue NSW has commenced a research program called Safety of Alternative and Renewable Energy Technologies (SARET) which seeks to better understand and manage incidents involving lithium-ion batteries, reducing their linkage to fires. ABRI and its members are participating in this research program.

Future Battery Industries CRC will present to ABRI and ABIA (Australian Battery Industry Association) members in late February on their work program on battery energy storage system fire testing with the fire services. This will be part of a discussion on the CRC’s priorities to assist removal of policy barriers to develop a circular economy. If you are interested in attending this presentation please email secretariat@batteryrecycling.org.au.

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3. JAPANESE OEMS, BATTERY MANUFACTURERS AND RESEARCH INSTITUTION COLLABORATION TO DEVELOP AND MANUFACTURE LOW CARBON, LOW COST AND RECYCLED BATTERIAL MATERIALS

Tokyo University’s Institute of Industrial Science, Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, Panasonic Corporation and Toyota Tsusho Corporation have announced commencement of a joint research project on developing and manufacturing battery materials using recycled inputs. The project’s objective is to develop new carbon neutral and lower cost battery manufacturing processes. 

The project will focus on: 

  1. Developing new processes across the entire battery life cycle from material production to manufacturing to reduce carbon emissions, production costs and lead times for material input production
  2. Developing new processes for recycling battery waste materials and used batteries to improve recycling rates and resource recovery levels
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4. NORTH AMERICAN LITHIUM-ION RECYCLING CAPACITY RAPIDLY EXPANDING

Ascend Elements (formerly known as Battery Resourcers) plans to open North America’s largest battery recycling facility in August 2022 in Georgia. The facility will have capacity to process 30,000 tonnes of used lithium-ion batteries and scrap each year. For comparison, in Australia used end of life lithium ion batteries are projected to reach 13,000 tonnes by end 2024/25.

The Georgia factory will recover battery grade lithium, cobalt and nickel for use back into the battery supply chain.

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5. NORWAY - CLOSING THE LIHTIUM-ION BATTERY VALUE CHAIN LOOP THROUGH A JOINT VENTURE WITH MANUFACTURERS AND RECYCLERS

A joint venture of battery cell and energy storage system manufacturers and lithium ion recycling expertise will build a lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Norway. Morrow Batteries, Li-Cycle and ECO STOR have announced a joint venture to build a recycling facility of up to 10,000 tonnes of lithium ion batteries each year. The facility is expected to be commence operations in early 2023 and will recycle battery manufacturing scrap, full EV packs, and energy storage systems.

The project brings together complementary parts of the battery value chain to develop a closed loop battery manufacturing and recycling process.

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6. UK - DEVELOPING AN EFFICIENT VALUE CHAIN FOR RECYCLING EV LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES

Johnson Matthey has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with European Metal Recycling (EMR) to develop an efficient value chain in the UK for recycling lithium-ion batteries and cell manufacturing materials.

EMR has a network of 50 sites across the UK to collect and recycle vehicles. EMR is developing collection and recycling processes for electric vehicles and their batteries, to recover intermediate battery metals materials for further processing and where possible, closed loop return of materials.

Johnson Matthey is developing processes to produce fully refined materials suitable for direct use in lithium-ion battery manufacturing, increasing the recycled content of new batteries.

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7. BECOME AN ABRI MEMBER - THE BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP

Workshops – Presentations and policy discussions from leading industry players and research institutions

Policy and advocacy – working with governments on a national waste tracking system

News – member bulletins on key regulatory and other events, general bulletins on industry news

Collaboration with Australian Battery Industry Association on industry issues e.g. lithium ion battery safety

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CLICK HERE TO JOIN
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