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Altilium metals delivers first cathode active materals from recycled end-of-life batteries

UK-based Altilium Metals (earlier post) has successfully produced cathode active materials (CAM) recovered from end-of-life EV battery scrap at its recycling demonstration line in Devon.

The first samples have been delivered to Imperial College London, where the materials will be analyzed under a joint research programme partly funded by the UK government’s Automotive Transformation Fund.

Under the program, Altilium Metals will collaborate with Imperial to compare the electrochemical performance of the recycled cathode materials with commercially manufactured cathodes made from mined raw materials. The CAM will be analyzed in coin cells and single layer pouch cells, similar to those used to power the Nissan Leaf EV.

The work done with Imperial is part of a wider qualification of Altilium Metals’ recycled CAM to demonstrate that batteries produced with recycled materials can match the performance of those produced using virgin raw materials.

The research is being supported by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) under their Automotive Transformation Fund. It was one of 22 projects to receive funding through the APC’s Scale-Up Readiness Validation (SuRV) competition last year.

CAM is made from critical metals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt. Currently the UK is dependent on the global market for these raw materials, with China accounting for 60-70% of the refining of lithium and cobalt found in batteries. Such concentration of supply makes the UK vulnerable to disruption from geopolitical events, while the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors associated with the mining of raw materials are also becoming a growing concern for the EV industry.

By recycling these metals from domestic battery waste, Altilium Metals is able to offer battery producers a low carbon, sustainable source of battery materials that reduces the need for lithium, nickel and cobalt mining, thus preserving natural resources and helping to support the UK’s transition to net zero.

Altilium Metals is currently the only company in the UK recovering critical minerals from end-of- life EV battery waste and has recently completed a feasibility study for the development of the UK’s largest planned EV battery recycling facility, to be located in Teesside. The plant will have the capacity to process scrap from more than 150,000 EVs per year, producing 30,000 MT of CAM. According to the APC, more than 150,000 MT of CAM will be needed annually by 2030, to support the production of EVs in the UK.


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