Johnson Matthey, the UK-based cathode manufacturer has entered into an agreement with OnTo Technology, a developer of advanced battery recycling solutions, to scale up OnTo’s patented process for the direct recycling of lithium-ion battery scrap.
The partners will collaborate with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), a newly opened national battery manufacturing scale up facility in Coventry. Part funding for the feasibility stage of the project is from the UK Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) in partnership with Innovate UK.
Founded and headed by Steve Sloop, OnTo has been a pioneer in the field of battery recycling in the western world, filing its first patent in 2004. The company has also, together with Argonne National Laboratories, been one of the most important proponents and developers of "direct recycling" technologies.
Using direct cathode recycling, valuable electrode coatings can be harvested from battery manufacturing scrap. OnTo’s patented process restores the coating material to be used in making new batteries. The idea is to eliminate energy-intensive refining processes and thus lowering cost and the carbon footprint of new batteries.
Johnson Matthey is currently building a cathode production site in Konin, Poland. The plant is expected to be starting commissioning in 2022 with full production scheduled for 2024. The plant is expected to host a recycling process as well where the technology developed with OnTo presumably will be applied.
Earlier this year Johnson Matthey were announcing a partnership with Stena Recycling, one of the leading car and electronics recycling companies in Europe, which is is building a pre-processing plant for lithium-ion batteries in Halmstad, Sweden.