LORDSTOWN, OH—Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution, plans to recycle up to 100 percent of the scrap generated by battery cell manufacturing at its new factory here. Li-Cycle Corp. will be in charge of the process, which will recover raw materials.
“This collaboration will form an important part of GM’s zero-waste initiative, which aims to divert more than 90 percent of manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025,” says Thomas Gallagher, CEO of Ultium Cells LLC. “It will also help increase the supply of available battery-grade materials, eventually reducing the need for mining.
“As North America’s electric vehicle production ramps up, this recycling partnership will be an essential piece in closing the battery supply chain loop and enabling sustainable production of new EV batteries,” claims Gallagher.
“Our combined efforts with Ultium and GM will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery grade materials back into the battery supply chain,” adds Ajay Kochhar, president and CEO of Li-Cycle. “This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining.”
Li-Cycle will transform Ultium’s battery manufacturing scrap into new battery-grade materials, including lithium carbonate, cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate, as well as other recycled materials.
According to Kochhar, the hydrometallurgical process through which these battery materials will be recycled emits 30 percent less greenhouse gas than traditional processes, helping to minimize environmental impact.
When fully operational in 2022, the $2.3 billion Ultium battery cell manufacturing facility in Lordstown will span 3 million square feet, making it one of the largest EV battery manufacturing plants in North America.