Johnson Matthey partnership to close EV battery recycling loop

Article by Amanda Jasi

JOHNSON Matthey (JM) and material recycler European Metal Recycling (EMR) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop an efficient value chain for recycling lithium-ion batteries and cell manufacturing materials in the UK.

Battery electric vehicles for light-duty transport have a role to play in decarbonising transportation, helping industries and societies meet net zero targets.

According to the partners, recycling electric vehicle (EV) batteries at the end of their life can produce significant quantities of strategic materials such as cobalt, lithium, and nickel, with a fraction of the carbon footprint of mined sources. However, it is a challenge to do so without harming the environment.

Working together, the companies will develop a full closed-loop recycling service to help deliver future resource security and carbon reduction aspirations of battery producers and vehicle manufacturers.

EMR is developing new collection and recycling processes for EVs and their batteries to recover the intermediate materials that contain strategic battery metals. These can then be further processed and, where possible, reused in materials.

JM is developing processes to produce fully refined materials that can be used directly in lithium-ion battery manufacturing, to increase the recycled content of new batteries. Roger Morton, Managing Director for Innovation and Technology at EMR, explained that the novel technologies JM is developing “will deliver high yields of recovered battery precursor materials, ready for use back in lithium-ion battery manufacturing”.

Jane Toogood, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey’s Efficient Natural Resources Sector, said: “We are excited to partner with EMR in delivering an efficient battery refining solution to the UK market. Embedding circularity into this growing industry is essential if it is to become a truly sustainable solution.”

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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