General Motors and LG Energy Solution battery cell joint venture company Ultium Cells LLC announced today an agreement with closed-loop lithium-ion resource recovery company Li-Cycle that will enable up to 100% of the material scrap from battery cell manufacturing to be recycled.
Ajay Kochhar, Li-Cycle’s President and CEO and co-founder, said:
“Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells 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. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining.”
The Ultium battery platform lies at the heart of GM’s electric mobility strategy, which are central to the company’s sustainability commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. GM and LG are investing over $2 billion in the joint venture, with initiatives including the development of Ultium Cells in Lordstown, Ohio, expected to have annual capacity of over 30 gigawatt hours.
The agreement will help to solve several sustainability issues resulting from the production of lithium-ion batteries, including greenhouse gas emissions and material waste. According to the companies, the new recycling process will enable 95% of battery materials including cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum to be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries. The process will also reduce emissions by 30%.
Ken Morris, GM Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, said:
“GM’s zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90 percent of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we’re going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials.”
Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC, added:
“We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes.”