Li-Cycle opens lithium battery recycling plant in Arizona

Li-Cycle’s new lithium-ion battery recycling plant has officially opened in Gilbert, Arizona. While the process is specific to EV batteries, the facility must also accommodate stationary storage systems.

The co-founders of Li-Cycle and the mayor of Gilbert at the company’s grand opening event for its Arizona Spoke. Left – Ajay Kochhar, President and CEO, Co-Founder, Li-Cycle; Middle – Brigette Peterson, Mayor, City of Gilbert; Right – Tim Johnston, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Li-Cycle

Li-Cycle’s Arizona Spoke facility is the first of its kind and uses proprietary technology that processes entire EV battery packs without manually disassembling them, making recycling those battery packs safer, more sustainable and more labor efficient. The facility is strategically located near the company’s existing battery and manufacturing scrap supply network in the Southwestern United States, optimizing logistics and other efficiencies for recycling services.

“The launch of Li-Cycle’s innovative battery recycling facility strengthens Arizona’s already robust EV supply chain and sends a signal that Arizona is the place for electric batteries,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “Sustainable industries have found a home in Arizona, and few companies represent the innovation and opportunity that Li-Cycle brings. We are proud that the Li-Cycle facility has been commissioned and is operational.”

“We are pleased to announce that our Arizona Spoke is operational,” said Richard Storrie, Regional President, Americas of Li-Cycle. “This new, state-of-the-art facility improves our ability to meet our customers’ recycling needs, while significantly increasing our operational recycling capacity. We are also creating an additional domestic source of critical metals to be transformed and supplying the production of lithium-ion batteries.”

Li-Cycle’s Alabama Spoke, which shares the same design as the Arizona Spoke, is expected to be operational in the third quarter of 2022. When both the Arizona and Alabama Spokes are operational, Li-Cycle will have a total throughput capacity of 30,000 tons per year. By the end of 2023, the company expects to have a total of 65,000 tons of lithium-ion battery processing capacity per year across its Spokes in North America and Europe.

The primary output product of the Arizona Spoke is black matter, composed of a number of highly valuable critical metals, including lithium, cobalt and nickel, which will convert Li-Cycle into battery-grade materials at its first North American Hub facility, which is under construction in Rochester, New York. Li-Cycle expects the Hub to be able to handle 35,000 tons of black matter annually, with targeted commissioning in 2023.

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