Toronto-based Li-Cycle Corp., which describes itself as North America’s largest lithium-ion battery recycling company, says it has closed a Series C equity funding round intended to fund the development of its Rochester, New York, “commercial hub” and then drive expansion into international markets. New York-based Moore Strategic Ventures LLC led the financing round.
“Li-Cycle is at the forefront of perhaps the most important segment of the electric vehicle and battery supply chain,” says Ajay Kochhar, the firm’s CEO. “This is a market that requires significant development – specifically when it comes to handling the incoming tsunami of spent lithium-ion batteries. Without sustainable and economically viable lithium-ion battery recycling, we believe it’s likely that electric vehicle proliferation will be substantially hindered. Our newest investment partners have the vision to see that truly innovative and circular battery recycling is the key to providing a solution for this urgent global challenge and opportunity.”
James McIntyre, senior managing director and chief operating officer of Moore Strategic Ventures, says, “The need for an environmentally sustainable recycling capability for lithium-ion batteries is critical. Not only does Li-Cycle’s technology accomplish this, but it does so while enhancing the local supply of essential battery materials, most notably cobalt, lithium and nickel. Importantly, Li-Cycle’s recycling technology does not use a polluting smelting process. This round of financing will enable Li-Cycle to continue to scale the business and strengthen its position as the global leader in lithium-ion battery recycling.”
Li-Cycle, founded in 2016, says it has “reinvented the recycling process by developing and validating a patented technology that enables recoveries of at least 95 percent of all materials found in lithium-ion batteries through an innovative, zero-waste process.” The firm says that compares with what it calls an industry norm of less than 50 percent recovery.
The company is capable of processing all types of lithium-ion batteries used in electronic devices, e-mobility, electric vehicles and other energy storage applications.
In Li-Cycle’s spoke and hub process, batteries are shipped to an initial “spoke” location, where the materials are mechanically processed and size-reduced. The material is then shipped to a “hub” location, where the semiprocessed material is put through a hydrometallurgical, or wet chemistry, process.
States Li-Cycle, “The resulting components are then returned to their original, battery-grade chemical states, including lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and more for reintegration into the lithium-ion battery supply chain.”
Currently, Li-Cycle says it has 10,000 tons per year of “spoke” capacity. The company’s facility in Kingston, Ontario, is operational, and the company is commissioning a second spoke facility in Rochester, which it plans to have operational in late 2020. Li-Cycle also is developing a hub facility to be located near the Rochester spoke plant.
New York-based Jett Capital Advisors LLC acted as financial advisor and Toronto-based McCarthy Tetrault LLP and Freshfields Bruchhaus Deringer US LLP acted as legal advisors on the Li-Cycle funding round.