Ultium Cells LLC, Lordstown, Ohio, United States, a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution, Korea, announced an agreement today with Li-Cycle, Mississauga, Canada, to recycle up to 100 percent of the material scrap from battery cell manufacturing.
The new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells to recycle battery materials, including cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum. Ninety-five percent of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries.
“Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain,” said Ajay Kochhar, Li-Cycle’s president and CEO and co-founder. “This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining.”
The hydrometallurgical process through which these battery materials will be recycled emits 30 percent less greenhouse gas than traditional processes, helping to minimize environmental impact.
“GM’s zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90 percent of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025,” said Ken Morris, GM vice president of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles. “Now, we’re going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials.”
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100 percent of the battery packs received from customers, including any packs replaced through warranty service. Most current GM EVs are repaired with refurbished packs.
Ultium batteries will feature a modular design, also making them easy to reuse or recycle.
“We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended,” said Thomas Gallagher, chief operating officer, Ultium Cells LLC. “This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes.”
Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle will begin the new scrap recycling process later this year.
Ultium Cells, a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution, will mass-produce Ultium battery cells to advance the push for a zero-emissions, all-electric future. GM and LG Energy Solution are investing $2.3 billion in the joint venture to support EV manufacturing in the U.S., and in turn, local jobs, education, career training and infrastructure. Ultium Cells in Lordstown, Ohio, will equal the size of 30 football fields and will have annual capacity of over 30 gigawatt hours with room to expand.
Li-Cycle is on a mission to leverage its innovative Spoke & Hub Technologies™ to provide a customer-centric, end-of-life solution for lithium-ion batteries, while creating a secondary supply of critical battery materials. Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are increasingly powering our world in automotive, energy storage, consumer electronics, and other industrial and household applications. The world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better manage battery manufacturing waste and end-of-life batteries and to meet the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade raw materials through a closed-loop solution.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which powers everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun and Wuling brands.