LG Chem makes equity investment in battery recycler Jae Young Tech; targeting recycling JV in N America in 2023
LG Chem entered an equity investment agreement worth 24 billion KRW (US$18.6 million) with the waste battery recycling company, Jae Young Tech. Based on this equity investment, the two companies plan to establish a battery recycling joint venture in North America by the end of 2023.
LG Chem will lead the overall business such as establishing the business model, and Jae Young Tech will be in charge of technological issues including plant design, etc. LG Chem and Jae Young Tech also plan to advance their business by cooperating with local companies that possess supply chains in North America.
Jae Young Tech was founded in 2016 and specializes in battery recycling. The company possesses the technology for extracting high-purity lithium from the lithium wastes (scraps) remaining after use by secondary battery manufacturers or from used batteries.
The conventional methods in the industry place batteries in a liquid to melt and extract manganese, cobalt, nickel, etc. in order and then extract lithium at the very end. The fact that after melting various materials, impurities would form in the liquid, thus lowering the purity of lithium.
Jae Young Tech used a different method to extract lithium first by applying heat to battery materials and then treating manganese, cobalt, and nickel in the post-process. This process is simple, and it can maintain the purity of manganese, cobalt, and nickel at levels equivalent to existing methods while also being able to extract highly pure lithium. The lithium recovery rate is also more than 85%, which is rated as the world’s best level.
LG Chem earlier partnered with LG Energy Solution and invested 60 billion KRW (US$47 million) in North America’s largest battery recycling company Li-Cycle as part of its efforts to take the lead in the battery recycling market.