According to a news release from the company, the U.S. patent examiner determined that American Manganese’s technology is “novel” and “inventive,” as it enables the recycling of valuable cathode metals—cobalt, nickel, manganese, aluminum and lithium—while also converting these materials back to fresh cathode materials for manufacture of new lithium-ion batteries. The “Notice of Allowance” is a formal notification indicating that the examination of the invention has been completed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office and allowed for issuance as a patent.
“Allowance of this patent is a significant milestone for the company, as the invention is now secured as a key asset that can be exclusively capitalized,” says Larry W. Reaugh, CEO of American Manganese. “American Manganese recognized early on that significant growth in the electric vehicle market will eventually lead to supply strains in materials used to make lithium-ion batteries and that effective recycling of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries is a key aspect of achieving a sustainable circular economy.”
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance reports, industry forecasts estimate that electric vehicle sales will increase over time. The report states that electric vehicle sales could increase from 1.1 million worldwide in 2017 to as many as 11 million in 2025.
American Manganese contracted Kemetco Research, Richmond, British Columbia, to start a research program to develop technology with the goal on capitalizing on the potential supply of metals used for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries, while creating a solution to the circular economy, the news release reports. Kemetco Research has been focused on developing American Manganese’s technology into an efficient recycling process, with plans to file continuing patent applications on work recently completed that complements the current technology.