By Lindsey Cooke
October 5, 2018 — Li-Cycle, one of the clean technology companies that looks after the recycling of lithium-ion batteries, commonly known as those found in electric vehicles, has received funding for a pilot plant to continue a better recycling process.
The Sustainable Development Technology of Canada (SDTC) provided Li-Cycle with $2.7 million to establish a pilot plant for recycling all types of lithium-ion batteries
The funding will further develop Li-Cycle technology through an integrated pilot plant and establish the Li-Cycle Centre of Excellence located in Kingston, Ontario as a platform for end-market material development, ensuring robustness to recycle all emerging lithium-ion battery types.
The difficulty involved in lithium recycling remains one of the largest barriers to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. It’s estimated that over 11 million tonnes of spent lithium-ion batteries will reach their end of use between 2018 and 2030. So, with these numbers in mind it is important to understand how these batteries will be recycled.
CEO of Li-Cycle, Ajay Kochhar told Collision Repair that the challenge right now with recycling EV batteries is improving the resource recovery/recycling technology. Right now, the way most lithium-ion batteries are recycled is through traditional plants, which only ends up recovering 30 to 40 percent of the batteries at a high cost process. But with Li-Cycle Technology they will be able to recover 80 to 100 percent of all constituents in the batteries.
The funding for this whole project that SDTC is putting forward is part of a $7.1 million investment.
“This is an exciting milestone for the Canadian cleantech companies that are working tirelessly to develop ground-breaking technology solutions. Our team at Sustainable Development Technology Canada dedicated 2017–2018 to operating at the speed of business to better support Canadian cleantech developers. We made it simpler and more streamlined for companies to access financing, execute projects and move into the markets where they can shift from start-up to scale-up,” said president and CEO of Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Leah Lawrence.