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Glencore partners with US recycler ACE

To supply 100% of materials toward localized supply chains Metal Tech News – December 7, 2022

Glencore plc, one of the world's largest natural resources companies, has entered into a long-term supply agreement to purchase 100% of the products to be produced by battery recycler ACE Green Recycling.

"Our partnership with ACE furthers our objective of creating a leading, global circularity platform for battery metals," said Kunal Sinha, head of recycling at Glencore.

Intended to intake recycled lead and key battery metals from recycled lithium-ion batteries, this 15-year agreement hopes to create a foundation to help establish a circular supply chain on a global scale for these high-demand materials while reducing their environmental footprint.

As a recycling technology and supply chain platform for battery materials, ACE Green Recycling provides sustainable, end-of-life solutions for batteries by creating a closed-loop supply chain for critical materials.

Working together with players across the battery ecosystem, ACE aims to establish localized circular solutions to ensure critical battery materials remain within the countries generating battery waste.

Recycling both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries with environmentally sustainable solutions toward the goal of global electrification, ACE Green Recycling is a United States-based company with dual headquarters in Houston and Singapore. With further establishments in the U.S., Europe, and Southeast Asia, ACE is rapidly expanding its supply chain network to more than 15 countries.

The agreement facilitates Glencore to purchase up to 100% of ACE's recycled products from four of its planned lead-acid and lithium-ion battery recycling parks being built in the U.S., India, and Thailand. The parks are expected to be completed by 2024 and, once operational, are estimated to cumulatively produce roughly 1.6 million tons of recycled metals containing lead, lithium, nickel, and cobalt.

"These recycling parks will not only provide a unique domestic, but also regional solution for furthering circularity in batteries – both high and low voltage," Sinha said.

"The partnership will also support our ambition to become a net zero total emissions (scope 1, 2, 3) company by 2050," he added.

Understanding the crucial role batteries play in the shift toward global electrification, decarbonization, and the adoption of renewable energy, ACE has developed a portfolio of proprietary technologies to recycle batteries with zero Scope 1 emissions and extract their critical materials with minimal environmental footprint.

You can read more about greenhouse gas emission scopes at Teck expands its climate action strategy in the March 2, 2022, edition of Metal Tech News.

ACE scales up recycling

By pioneering innovative hydrometallurgical recycling processes for both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, with recovery rates higher than 99% and 98%, respectively, ACE has developed a closed-loop and environmentally sustainable end-of-life solution for both types of batteries.

"We are delighted to partner with Glencore and together contribute towards making global electrification sustainable," said ACE Green Recycling co-founder and CEO Nishchay Chadha. "To safeguard a greener future, we need to create sustainable and localized circular supply chain solutions to ensure these critical battery materials are available indefinitely."

Once operating at commercial scale, ACE's recycling facilities forming part of this agreement are estimated to have a total annual processing capacity of 250,000 tons of lead-acid and 47,000 tons of lithium-ion batteries.

The company's first commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility is set to start up this month in Ghaziabad, India, where it will recycle valuable materials from various battery chemistries such as lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NCM), lithium cobalt oxide (LCO), and lithium iron phosphate (LFP).

A second Indian facility in Mundra and ACE's flagship plant in Texas are expected to come online in the fourth quarter of 2023. Both facilities are projected to process up to 100,000 tons of lead-acid and 20,000 tons of lithium-ion batteries by 2025.

The global deal between ACE and Glencore will lead to expanded and improved battery circularity in both advanced and emerging markets. With its cost-competitive, automated, and sustainable solutions, ACE intends to bring a radical change to the processing and recycling of battery waste.

"Our modular and battery chemistry agnostic recycling technology platform offers the flexibility to customize our solutions for both developed and developing markets," said ACE co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Vipin Tyagi. "Along with positive ESG components and cost competitiveness, ACE's battery recycling solutions provide real-world commercial and social benefits."


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