The partners will collaborate with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), the newly opened national battery manufacturing scale up facility in Coventry. Part funding for the feasibility stage of the project is from the UK Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) in partnership with Innovate UK.
Production of lithium ion batteries in Europe for electric vehicles is expected to increase more than ten-fold from 82 GWh/yr to 934 GWh/yr in 20301. With production scrap rates of typically 5-10%, the recycling of critical raw materials from production waste is a significant opportunity to drive efficient and circular manufacturing technologies as we move towards a net zero future.
Using direct cathode recycling, valuable electrode coatings can be harvested from battery manufacturing scrap. OnTo’s patented Cathode HealingTM process restores the coating material to be used in making new batteries. It avoids energy-intensive refining processes, significantly increasing manufacturing efficiency, lowering cost and the carbon footprint of batteries used to power electric cars.
Jane Toogood, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey’s Efficient Natural Resources Sector said: “We believe direct cathode recycling is an important goal in delivering a truly sustainable electric car. We are delighted to be working with OnTo and UKBIC to bring this exciting technology closer to commercialisation.”
Dr Steven Sloop, President of OnTo Technology, added: “We are happy to be working with Johnson Matthey and UKBIC to deliver the potential of direct cathode recycling. I’m confident our combined capabilities will succeed in delivering a viable process that will be a compelling commercial proposition for battery manufacturers.”
Matthew Dobson, UKBIC’s Principal Engineer, added: “The recycling of batteries is an important part of developing a sustainable UK value chain and aligns with UKBIC’s objective of enabling a route to Net Zero. With battery manufacturing scale-up capability using production relevant equipment and processes capability at volume, we’re delighted to be working with Johnson Matthey and OnTo, to help scale up of direct recycling of lithium ion battery waste.”
1 Data from Bloomberg NEF