Li-Cycle gets Germany grant approval, questions remain over black mass processing

Li-Cycle gets Germany grant approval, questions remain over black mass processing

Li-Cycle gets Germany grant approval, questions remain over black mass processing 1024 683 Energy Storage Journal

February 8, 2024: Li-Cycle said on February 7 it had won approval for a €6.4 million ($7 million) grant for its new lithium ion recycling plant (pictured) in Germany.

The company — which has suspended construction of its first commercial ‘hub’ for black mass processing in the US over escalating costs — said the grant approval for its Magdeburg ‘spoke’ facility in Saxony-Anhalt was given by the state’s government.

Spoke facilities are where all types of lithium ion batteries are transformed from a charged state to what Li-Cycle describes as an inert product.

The resulting black mass is then transferred to a hub, where cathode and anode materials are processed into battery grade end-products for reuse in battery production or other applications.

Li-Cycle said last year that black mass produced at Magdeburg would be processed at a hub operated under a proposed European joint venture with Glencore.

However, the future of that joint venture project is unclear and the partners have yet to respond to repeated questions from Batteries International about the status of the project.

Magdeburg spans more than 20,000m2 with 10,000 m2 warehouse capacity.

Li-Cycle said the facility can process full EV and energy storage battery packs without the need for disassembly, discharging, or thermal processes.

Magdeburg has an annual lithium ion battery processing capacity of up to 10,000 tonnes, with potential to expand up to 30,000 tonnes annually.

Meanwhile, pressure has been mounting on Li-Cycle in the US, where it is facing possible legal action and is at the center of questions from lawmakers over a planned $375 million federal government loan.