Battery Recycling

Innovative Battery Recycling Companies to Watch in 2024

In the dynamic landscape of battery recycling, several innovative companies are making substantial contributions to sustainability and creating a truly circular economy.

This article spotlights five notable players in this field: Cylib, based in Germany, Altilium in the UK, ReElement Technologies and Ascend Elements in the United States, and Green Li-ion based in Singapore.

Each company showcases distinct approaches and technologies advancing battery recycling today.

Cylib, Germany

Who? Cylib is at the forefront of battery recycling, introducing a groundbreaking ecological technology developed at RWTH Aachen University by a team led by Cylib CEO, Lilian Schwich.

Date founded: 2022

Cylib presents cutting-edge and eco-friendly technology for recycling Lithium-ion Batteries. Their process, which is filed for a patent, not only reduces water consumption but also utilises CO2, contributing to a circular economy instead of perpetuating further depletion.

With key innovations like a 12% reduction in acids required, water-based lithium recovery without additives, and a recycling efficiency exceeding 90%, Cylib's end-to-end process covers the entire battery recycling value chain, surpassing EU battery regulations for the next decade.

But here’s what really impresses us about Cylib — they are ahead of the game with their approach to clean hydrometallurgy, their innovative water-based lithium and graphite recovery contributes to reducing the use of additives and acids.

Cylib transforms waste from end-of-life batteries (also production scrap and other materials) into marketable products, offering a sustainable and efficient recycling process that embodies true circularity in batteries.

Altilium, United Kingdom

Who? Altilium is a UK-based clean technology group dedicated to driving the global energy sector's shift from fossil-based to zero-carbon solutions. Led by CEO Kamran Mahdavi, they are a pioneering force in the battery recycling space.

Date founded: 2020

Over the past three years, Altilium has dedicated itself to developing innovative, proprietary recycling processes focused on lithium-ion batteries — efficiently recovering over 95% of critical metals like lithium, manganese, cobalt, and nickel. This approach slashes carbon emissions by more than 50% compared to traditional mining practices.

Altilium's commitment extends to a one-stop shop, providing cathode active materials, copper, rare earth elements, and graphite – all derived from recycled battery waste.

Bolstered by over £5 million in UK Government Innovation awards, Altilium's EcoCathode™ hydrometallurgical process is designed for diverse battery chemistries, ensuring precise chemical reengineering and delivering a suite of low-carbon precursors.

Altilium stands out as one of the few UK companies recovering critical battery metals from black mass waste at their pilot line. This unique capability allows them to categorise feedstocks, make informed decisions on scalability at their commercial plant, and qualify battery materials with automotive OEMs.

ReElement Technologies, United States

Who? ReElement Technologies recycles rare earth elements and critical battery metals from sources such as batteries, magnets, and mines using chromatography.

Date founded: 2019

ReElement Technologies is at the forefront of promoting environmental sustainability with its innovative approach to processing, which generates almost no waste. The company efficiently processes both recycled and raw materials into high-purity elements for remanufacturing, suitable for operations close to mines or as a recycling facility.

Their process is designed to be adaptable, requiring minimal investment and space — ideal for integration directly within manufacturing sites. ReElement Technologies stands out for its high-efficiency, high-quality metal recovery process, capable of managing various feedstocks.

The company is currently emphasising the recycling of LFP batteries, tapping into a material stream that presents economic challenges for other recyclers. Additionally, it boasts a division dedicated to producing Neodymium-based permanent magnets that maintain a leading position in the global magnetics market.

Ascend Elements, United States

Who? Ascend Elements pioneers sustainable battery materials with their Hydro-to-Cathode® process contributing significantly to full battery circularity in the US's recycling landscape.

Date founded: 2015

Ascend Elements stands out in the battery recycling space for its innovative approach to delivering advanced battery materials designed for high-performance applications with a strong emphasis on sustainability.

Through their patented Hydro-to-Cathode® direct precursor synthesis process, their upcycled battery materials demonstrate superior performance compared to traditionally produced ones.

Recent studies have shown that battery cells incorporating Ascend Elements' upcycled cathode material exhibit over 50% longer cycle life and an 88% increase in power capacity.

Ascend Elements not only provides precursor and finished cathode materials for the lithium-ion battery market, including NMC hydroxide and sintered NMC cathode materials with various metal ratios, but they also contribute to full battery circularity.

By developing key technologies to reintroduce active materials into the supply chain sustainably, Ascend Elements plays a pivotal role in advancing battery circularity, aligning with their commitment to environmental responsibility and reducing carbon emissions.

Green Li-ion, Singapore

Who? Green Li-ion's Green-Hydrorejuvenation™Technology revolutionises lithium-ion battery recycling, offering a faster, eco-friendly approach and providing high-quality commodity materials sourced sustainably.

Date founded: 2020

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have become the preferred portable energy source, widely used in electric vehicles, energy storage, and consumer devices. However, the growing usage has led to a significant environmental challenge with the disposal of spent LIBs containing hazardous elements.

Traditional recycling methods need more efficiency and environmental friendliness. Green Li-ion's Green-Hydrorejuvenation™Technology addresses this by offering a faster and more eco-friendly approach, ensuring valuable resources from spent batteries are reclaimed sustainably.

Additionally, Green Li-ion provides high-quality commodity materials sourced 100% from recycled LIBs. These materials serve as intermediate commodity metals for battery production or other applications, promoting overall sustainability in various industries.

At Gaea, we are committed to supporting battery recyclers by driving innovation through digitalising facility operations.

Our cutting-edge technology empowers recyclers with a suite of benefits, from real-time inventory management that pinpoints cells and modules to streamlined production tracking across all recycling stages.

You can find out more about why we started Gaea to help recyclers here

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