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Sen. Schumer visits NY Li-Cycle facility

Metal Tech News - September 21, 2022

Recycling hub will offer supply of critical battery materials in US

After advocating for Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc. to develop its zinc-air energy storage systems manufacturing plant in New York, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, paid a visit to Li-Cycle Holdings Corp.'s Rochester lithium-ion battery recycling facility in his home state.

You can read about Sen. Schumer and Zinc8 at NY Sen. Schumer calls Zinc8 with an offer in the July 11, 2022, edition of Metal Tech News.

Now, the New York senator is moving down the circular battery supply chain by visiting a company that has been creating a technology to recover those critical minerals and metals to make future batteries and energy storage systems.

Li-Cycle's patented recycling technologies are playing a key role in supporting localized supply chains of critical battery-grade materials.

With the Rochester Hub being expected as the first commercial hydrometallurgical battery resource recovery facility, as well as the first new significant source of battery-grade lithium carbonate production in North America, this is just the first step in potentially becoming a significant domestic supply as well.

Sen. Schumer's leadership was instrumental in passing the historic Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to allocate more than $300 billion in funding toward energy security and the fight against climate change, including provisions to support domestic manufacturing of critical materials for electric vehicles in the United States.

Additionally, Schumer provided a pivotal role in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which aims to support continued job growth for the country.

This pair of recently passed laws are expected to further accelerate support and action for the increasing demand for EVs and stationary energy storage. Furthermore, it is a hope that the acts will reduce the cost of building new facilities to produce these critical materials domestically and overall bring the manufacturing costs for batteries down.

During the visit, Sen. Schumer and Li-Cycle CEO Ajay Kochhar were joined by the local Li-Cycle team to recognize the benefits of the two pieces of landmark legislation and the future Rochester facility's expected positive impact on the local communities and greater North American lithium-ion battery supply chain.

"We are thrilled to have hosted Senator Schumer at our Rochester Hub facility and thank him for his leadership in sponsoring the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, both monumental developments for a clean energy future and job growth across the United States," said Kochhar. "We expect that this legislation will accelerate growth of the EV and stationary energy storage industry and we believe Senator Schumer's visit further validates the importance of our Rochester Hub facility and the positive impact it will have for the supply of domestic critical materials."

One of several battery recycling companies attempting to solidify its place in the battery supply chain, Li-Cycle has proven it sits apart from the rest, earning a $200M investment from commodities titan Glencore back in May.

You can read about Li-Cycle, as well as the investment by Glencore at Glencore invests $200M into Li-Cycle in the May 5, 2022, edition of Metal Tech News.

"Li-Cycle has the first mover advantage and is well positioned to continue to scale to support the ability of domestic battery manufacturers and automakers in the U.S. to meet their production goals and domestic material sourcing requirements," continued Kochhar.

Li-Cycle's current project pipeline of "Spoke & Hub" facilities expects to have a total of 65,000 metric tons of lithium-ion battery spoke processing capacity between North America and Europe, with the Rochester Hub capable of processing 35,000 metric tons of black mass annually – equivalent to approximately 90,000 metric tons of lithium-ion battery input annually.

Li-Cycle's spoke facilities process end-of-life batteries and battery manufacturing scrap through a proprietary submerged shredding process which produces minimal wastewater and direct emissions.

The primary output product of Li-Cycle's spokes is black mass, containing highly valuable battery metals, including lithium, cobalt, and nickel – called so because the mulched aftereffects become a grainy black substance.

The black mass will then be converted into battery-grade materials at the Rochester Hub in an environmentally sustainable manner using further proprietary technologies.

"With these legislative programs, Li-Cycle has both the opportunity to explore government funding opportunities to potentially benefit our growth and the capability to assist automakers in achieving the Clean Vehicle Tax Credit conditions by meeting their domestic production content requirement through critical battery materials sourced from our Spoke & Hub recycling network," finished the recycling CEO.

You can read about the EV tax credit and additional incentives for domestic manufacturing of electric vehicles in Critical minerals war in the White House in the September 7, 2022, edition of Metal Tech News.

Currently, Li-Cycle has an existing Spoke facility in Rochester that supports more than 35 jobs, but with a centralized Hub facility, the Rochester Hub is expected to create approximately 220 new permanent jobs and more than 1,000 jobs during the initial construction.

Li-Cycle expects to begin commissioning the Rochester Hub in stages starting next year.


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