Li-Cycle Corp. a lithium-ion battery resource recovery company, will invest more than US$175 million in its first commercial lithium-ion battery recycling Hub at Eastman Business Park (EBP) in Rochester, New York. (Earlier post.) The Hub is a wet chemistry/hydrometallurgical facility that will refine battery-grade materials from black mass generated from pre-processing spent lithium-ion batteries.
The facility will have the capability of processing material from an equivalent of 60,000 metric tons of spent lithium-ion batteries, roughly equating to 120,000 electric vehicle battery packs. This comes in addition to its Spoke facility that is set to be operational at the park in late 2020 that will produce black mass from spent lithium-ion batteries.
Once fully operational, the Hub will be a major producer of battery-grade materials in North America, specifically cobalt, nickel and lithium. This will be the only source of battery-grade lithium carbonate in North America and the first commercial facility globally to produce battery grade lithium chemicals from spent lithium-ion batteries.
The Hub refines these critical materials from anode and cathode active materials (black mass) while achieving optimal economics and minimized environmental footprint. Together, the Hub and Spoke facilities minimize environmental impact of the end-to-end resource recovery process, and enable a substantially reduced GHG emission intensity when compared to primary production of the same materials.
Li-Cycle has previously run a demonstration Hub in Kingston, Ontario to determine key design criteria for the build out of this first Commercial Hub. The company selected EBP as the site for the facility due to the nature of infrastructure available at the site including utilities, logistics and other physical infrastructure. Construction of the Hub facility is set to begin in 2021 and the facility is planned to be fully operational in 2022.