ACE Green Recycling (ACE), a global recycling technology and supply chain platform, and Glencore plc, one of the world’s largest natural resources companies and a leading producer and recycler of metals for the production of batteries, have announced they will enter a long-term supply agreement for recycled lead as well as key battery metal based end products from recycled lithium-ion batteries. This strategic partnership will help create a circular supply chain on a global scale for these high-demand materials, while reducing their environmental footprint.
The 15-year agreement allows for Glencore to purchase up to 100 percent of ACE’s products from four of its planned lead-acid and lithium-ion battery recycling parks being built in the United States, India and Thailand. The parks are expected to be complete by 2024. Once operational, ACE estimates these recycling parks will cumulatively produce 1.6 million tons of recycled metals containing lead, lithium, nickel and cobalt.
“Our partnership with ACE furthers our objective of creating a leading, global circularity platform for battery metals. These recycling parks will not only provide a unique domestic, but also regional solution for furthering circularity in batteries – both high and low voltage. The partnership will also support our ambition to become a net zero total emissions (Scope 1,2,3) company by 2050,” said Kunal Sinha, head of recycling at Glencore.
Understanding the crucial role batteries play in the shift toward global electrification and adoption of renewable energy, ACE has developed a portfolio of proprietary technologies to recycle batteries with zero Scope 1 emissions and extract their critical materials with minimal environmental footprint. By pioneering innovative hydrometallurgical recycling processes for both lead-acid batteries (LAB) and lithium-ion batteries (LIB) with recovery rates higher than 99 percent and 98 percent respectively, the company has developed closed-loop and environmentally sustainable end-of-life solutions for both types of batteries.
“We are delighted to partner with Glencore and together contribute towards making global electrification sustainable,” said Nishchay Chadha, co-founder and CEO of ACE. “To safeguard a greener future, we need to create sustainable and localized circular supply chain solutions to ensure these critical battery materials are available indefinitely.”
Once operating at commercial scale, ACE’s recycling facilities forming part of this agreement are estimated to have a total annual processing capacity of 250,000 tons of LAB and 47,000 tons of LIB.
ACE’s first commercial LIB recycling facility is set to start up this month in Ghaziabad, India where it will recycle various battery chemistries such as Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NCM), Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LCO) and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) to extract valuable battery materials. A second Indian facility in Mundra is expected to come online in Q4 2023 at the same time as ACE’s flagship plant in Texas, USA will begin operations. Both facilities are projected to process up to 100,000 tons of LAB and 20,000 tons of LIB annually by 2025.
The global deal between ACE and Glencore will lead to expanded and improved battery circularity in both developed and emerging markets. With its cost-competitive, automated and sustainable solutions, ACE intends to bring a radical change to the processing and recycling of battery waste.
Vipin Tyagi, Ph.D., ACE’s other co-founder and chief technology officer said: “Our modular and battery chemistry agnostic recycling technology platform offers the flexibility to customize our solutions for both developed and developing markets. Along with positive ESG components and cost competitiveness, ACE’s battery recycling solutions provide real-world commercial and social benefits.“