Li-Cycle opens lithium battery recycling plant in Arizona

The new lithium-ion battery recycling plant from Li-Cycle has officially opened in Gilbert, Arizona. While the process is specific to EV batteries, the facility should be able to accommodate stationary storage systems too.

Li-Cycle’s co-founders and the Mayor of Gilbert at the company’s grand opening event for its Arizona Spoke. Left – Ajay Kochhar, President and CEO, co-founder, Li-Cycle; Middle – Brigette Peterson, Mayor, Town of Gilbert; Right – Tim Johnston, Executive Chairman and co-founder, Li-Cycle

Li-Cycle’s Arizona Spoke facility is the first-of-its-kind, utilizing proprietary technology that processes full EV battery packs without dismantling them manually, making recycling of those battery packs safer, sustainable and more labor efficient. The facility is strategically located close to the company’s existing battery and manufacturing scrap supply network in the Southwestern United States, which optimizes logistics and other efficiencies for recycling services.

“The launch of Li-Cycle’s innovative battery recycling facility bolsters Arizona’s already robust EV supply chain and sends a signal that Arizona is the place to be for electric batteries,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “Sustainable industries have found a home in Arizona, and few companies represent the innovation and possibilities that brings like Li-Cycle. We are proud to see Li-Cycle’s facility up and operational.”

“We are pleased to announce that our Arizona Spoke is operational,” said Richard Storrie, Regional President, Americas of Li-Cycle. “This new state-of-the-art facility enhances our ability to serve the recycling needs of our customers, while significantly increasing our operational recycling capacity. We’re also creating an additional domestic source of critical metals to be transformed and supply lithium-ion battery production.”

Li-Cycle’s Alabama Spoke, which is of the same design as the Arizona Spoke, is scheduled to be operational in the company’s third quarter of 2022. When both the Arizona and Alabama Spokes are operational, Li-Cycle will have a total processing capacity of 30,000 tonnes per year. By the end of 2023, the company expects to have a total of 65,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery processing capacity per annum, across its Spokes in North America and Europe.

The primary output product of the Arizona Spoke is black mass, consisting of a number of highly valuable critical metals, including lithium, cobalt and nickel, which Li-Cycle will convert into battery-grade materials at its first North American Hub facility, which is under construction in Rochester, New York. Li-Cycle expects that the Hub will be capable of processing 35,000 tonnes of black mass annually, with targeted commissioning in 2023.

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