Neometals has developed a proprietary sustainable process for the recovery of valuable constituents from cell production scrap and end-of-life lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). The Neometals processing flowsheet targets the recovery of >90% of all battery materials from LIBs that might otherwise be disposed of in land fill or processed in energy-intensive pyrometallurgical recovery circuits.
Specifically, the Neometals’ recycling process targets the recovery of valuable materials from consumer electronic batteries (devices with lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) cathodes), and nickel‐rich electric vehicle and stationary storage battery chemistries (lithium‐nickel-manganese‐cobalt (NMC) cathodes).
Through its recycling joint venture (“Primobius GmbH”) with German Company SMS group, Neometals aims to make revenue from provision of recycling services, licensing and sale of recovered cobalt, nickel, lithium, copper, iron, aluminium, manganese into saleable products.
The need for sustainable and circular LIB recycling solutions is being driven by burgeoning LIB production for the EV and electronics industries. Landfilling and stockpiling of LIBs is no longer an option given that:
- Spent and scrap LIBs are recognised as hazardous waste and pose a storage and transport fire risk;
- Once liberated, LIB constituent materials are valuable in a direct economic sense but also due to forecast raw material shortages and shoring-up of non-mined, non-conflict national domestic supply chains;
- Hydrometallurgical recycling (like Neometals) supports electrification with a reduced Greenhouse Gas footprint with efficient material recovery rates; and
- Recycling is no longer optional i.e. Governments mandating recycling and industry stewardship to support circular economic principles.
As a result, stakeholder expectations, corporate responsibility, regulations and economics are driving the push for ethical disposal and recycling from what is a very low base today.
- Clear and credible path to commercialisation and cashflow via Primobius JV;
- Unique patent pending technology;
- Eco flowsheet enables true closed loop with low CO2 footprint that helps reduces greenhouse gas emissions;
- Acceptance of broad battery chemistries;
- No requirement to discharge spent LIBs;
- Business model flexibility;
- Production of high purity finished cathode, an intermediate product, displaces need to sell mixed metals to refiners; and
- Hub and spoke model reduces transport complications with hazardous waste and means that shredding and refining don’t have to be co-located
Three years of R&D development including bench and pilot trials, feasibility studies and engineering has culminated in a recycling commercialization JV (“Primobius GmbH”) with German company, SMS group (leading supplier and builder of metallurgical plant). The JV will jointly fund construction of a showcase LIB recycling demonstration plant in Germany and complete feasibility and market evaluation ahead of a decision on commercial deployment.
Lithium-ion Battery Recycling – Neometals