Battery Resourcers, a vertically integrated lithium-ion battery recycling and manufacturing company, recently completed a $20-million Series B equity round with financing led by Orbia Ventures, the venture capital arm of the multinational Orbia, and participation from other investors including At One Ventures, TDK Ventures, TRUMPF Venture, Doral Energy-Tech Ventures andJaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures.
The financing will support the development of a commercial-scale processing facility with the annual capacity to process 10,000 tons of batteries—the batteries from approximately 20,000 electric vehicles (EVs) a year.
Battery Resourcers offers a new approach to lithium-ion battery manufacturing, starting with a mixed stream of used lithium-ion batteries and ending with the production of finished, battery-ready cathode active materials. With 97% metal recovery, Battery Resourcers says it can produce Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC)-based cathode active materials with 35% reduction in cost, 32% reduction in emissions, and 13% reduction in energy consumption compared to the production of virgin cathode.
Lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) is also a current product offering. Under development are high nickel formulations including 721 and 811.
The company is also engineering a novel process for graphite recovery and purification, which will enable it to return both the cathode and anode active materials back to manufacturers of new batteries.
Battery Resourcers CEO Mike O’Kronley said Battery Resourcers is also helping the EV industry address several complex environmental and regulatory issues. As lithium-ion batteries are discarded during manufacturing or reach their end of life, finding new ways to recycle and reuse materials will reduce reliance on mined metals, which pose significant environmental and social challenges.
Millions of EVs will hit the road in the coming years and new regulations mandate recycling of spent batteries and use of recycled metals in new batteries.
Battery Resourcers was founded in 2015 in Worcester, Mass. as a spinout from the lab of Prof. Yan Wang at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Through the support of the US Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), Battery Resourcers has developed the technology to convert mixed streams of lithium-ion batteries, regardless of their chemistry, to produce various Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC)-based cathode active materials.
A key advantage of this process is it takes old battery material and “erases” all memory of previous battery chemistry and then creates a new, finished cathode active material that can be directly used to produce current-generation lithium-ion batteries.