electric car battery
Sergii Chernov | stock.adobe.com

Li-Cycle to add third lithium-ion battery recycling location

The company’s Commercial Spoke 3 will be able to process 10,000 metric tons of batteries per year.

Li-Cycle Corp., headquartered in Toronto, will build its third commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Gilbert, Arizona, within the Phoenix Metro area. It will be able to process up to 10,000 metric tons of end-of-life batteries and battery manufacturing scrap annually, bringing Li-Cycle’s total recycling capacity to 20,000 metric tons per year, the company says. 

Li-Cycle’s existing North American spoke plants are in Rochester, New York, and Kingston, Ontario. The company says it plans to construct 20 “spoke” facilities globally over the next five years.

The Phoenix Metro area is located close to Li-Cycle’s existing battery supply network and is expected to generate a growing volume of lithium-ion batteries for recycling, the company says.

"Once completed, our newest spoke facility will add significant recycling capacity to Li-Cycle, strategically expanding the geographic footprint of our closed-loop solution for recycling lithium-ion battery materials,” the company’s co-founder and Executive Chairman Tim Johnston says. “Our Arizona Spoke will have two 5,000-metric-ton processing lines, effectively doubling our total recycling capacity in North America. It will also be engineered to directly process full electric vehicle packs without any dismantling. Spoke 3 will mark another important milestone as we continue to execute on our global growth plans and scale our sustainable, safe and innovative Spoke & Hub Technologies.”

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says, “This new facility will support Arizona’s growing electric vehicle industry by helping meet the demand for battery materials in a way that’s sustainable and environmentally friendly.”

Li-Cycle’s Spoke & Hub Technologies model involves spoke locations that convert battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries into intermediate products, including “black mass,” a powder that contains a variety of metals, including lithium, cobalt and nickel. These facilities then supply that black mass to Li-Cycle's future North American hub, which is in late-stage development in Rochester, New York. This location will process black mass through a hydrometallurgical circuit to produce battery-grade materials, including lithium carbonate, cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate, as well as other recycled materials, that can be returned to the economy, the company says. Li-Cycle says its patented Spoke & Hub Technologies minimize the environmental footprint of the end-to-end resource recovery process and reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise be produced with virgin materials.

“With our rapidly expanding electric vehicle sector and focus on sustainability, Arizona is the perfect destination for Li-Cycle’s western-U.S. battery recycling hub,” Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, says. “The company’s cutting-edge technology fills a growing supply chain need while providing an eco-friendly solution for battery recycling. Arizona is proud to be a partner in Li-Cycle’s success and contribute to the positive impact they will continue to have.”