Home Electric Vehicle Black Mass, Black Gold, and The Reality About EV Battery Recycling

Black Mass, Black Gold, and The Reality About EV Battery Recycling

Black Mass, Black Gold, and The Reality About EV Battery Recycling


Electrical automobiles (EVs) promise emissions-free driving wrapped in a veneer of environmental friendliness, however EV detractors are fast to level out their shortcomings — not the least of which being the huge carbon value of mining the battery metals (lithium, nickel, cobalt, and manganese) that make up the core of contemporary li-ion automotive batteries. This can be a sunk value that corporations like Volvo estimate will take tens of hundreds of miles pushed to get forward of. However these detractors are lacking a crucial bit of knowledge: battery recycling.

As soon as these parts are pulled from the bottom, they will theoretically be used and reused, time and again, with upwards of 99% of the battery supplies making it by means of from one era of battery to the subsequent. Theoretically, that’s, as a result of it’s confirmed actually tough for many battery recyclers to virtually recycle and upcycle the dear cathode supplies present in black mass. Nonetheless, for individuals who can, black mass would possibly simply be the brand new “black gold.”


The “black mass” that we’re referring to is the residual compound shaped by “shredding” li-ion batteries which have reached the tip of their usable life cycle. Regardless of its abundance, the Herculean problem lies in recovering the dear cathode parts (lithium, nickel, manganese, and cobalt) entwined throughout the battery and upcycling them into usable battery supplies.

Picture courtesy RecycLiCo Battery Supplies

“There’s a nuance in battery recycling the place corporations that shred end-of-life batteries and firms, like RecycLiCo, that get well the dear supplies locked throughout the black mass – are each known as ‘recyclers’,” explains RecycLiCo Battery Supplies CEO and Director, Zarko Meseldzija.

RecycLiCo is among the many first to have the ability to flip that black mass into “black gold,” recovering nearly all the cathode supplies inside black mass and upcycling them into battery-grade precursor cathode energetic materials (pCAM) and lithium that can be utilized once more within the battery manufacturing course of.

And batteries comprised of these recovered supplies? They’ve been confirmed to be nearly as good as new — actually!

In unbiased testing carried out by a significant battery provider, lithium-ion battery cells utilizing RecycLiCo’s high-nickel pCAM with N83 and N90 compositions (nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide containing 83% nickel and 90% nickel, each of that are utilized in fashionable high-performance battery cells) had been equal to cells made utilizing mined materials, (learn: new) in metrics corresponding to purity, faucet density, particle distribution, particle measurement, and floor space.

The electrochemical testing of RecycLiCo’s recycled materials batteries consisted of assembling the pCAM materials in lithium-ion battery cells, then biking the cells by means of a number of cost and discharge cycles whereas measuring the precise capability and Coulombic effectivity towards absolutely “new” batteries.

Meseldzija feedback, “Our upcycled supplies have showcased their worth, emphasizing RecycLiCo’s potential to form a round battery provide chain.”


With RecycLiCo’s course of validated by numerous third-parties, it was time to begin placing it to sensible use, and the corporate is doing simply that.

In the present day, RecycLiCo is working a state-of-the-art demo facility in Vancouver, Canada, producing top-tier battery supplies for industry-leading manufacturers — however that’s not all. 

Picture courtesy RecycLiCo Battery Supplies

This previous spring, RecycLiCo introduced plans to launch a $25M USD, 50-50 three way partnership battery recycling challenge with Zenith Chemical Company to construct a 2,000-metric-ton-per-year (that’s almost 4.5 million kilos per 12 months) lithium battery recycling plant in Taiwan.

“Zenith is a perfect accomplice for our first three way partnership on a number of ranges,” defined Paul Hildebrand, Chairman of RecycLiCo, in a press release. “They’ve deep technical experience in chemical processing, and established infrastructure, which is able to allow us to maneuver swiftly and effectively towards manufacturing. Zenith has intensive contacts within the lithium-ion battery area, and as a personal firm, they possess a dynamic and versatile administration group able to reacting shortly to rising alternatives. I lengthen my gratitude to the administration groups from each Zenith and RecycLiCo for his or her dedication and dedication in bringing this settlement to fruition.”

EV battery recycling process at RecycLiCo.

Picture courtesy RecycLiCo Battery Supplies

Battery recycling is not a distinct segment idea — it’s a burgeoning {industry} with billions at stake. RecycLiCo’s involvement dates again years, as evidenced by their long-standing R&D applications. Zenith could be the tip of the iceberg.

In different phrases, Zenith is positioned to be the primary of many business joint ventures. And, because the automotive world plows headlong into creating all-electric mannequin ranges, RecycLiCo’s lithium-ion battery recycling answer may very well be simply what automakers and battery producers want to offer the US with the crucial minerals and metals wanted to sustainably energy North America’s battery-powered future.

I’m not the one so as to add the phrase “crucial” up there, by the way in which. That was Brandon Tracy, a Congressional analyst in Vitality Coverage who authored the Vital Minerals in Electrical Car Batteries report final August. He detailed rising considerations amongst some Members of Congress and numerous {industry} advocacy teams about securing mineral inputs utilized in EV batteries for American manufacturing pursuits — and, because of advances corresponding to RecycLiCo’s course of, it’s going to be doable to assist construct that actually round economic system and guarantee these minerals stay in use for generations of electrical automobiles to return.

To seek out out extra about RecycLiCo and the expertise behind its patented course of for battery recycling, go to their web site at RecycLiCo.com, or comply with the corporate on LinkedIn or Twitter for nice, “snackable” content material describing their distinctive method.


This text is sponsored by RecycLiCo.


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