Li-Cycle will recycle Ultium Cells' battery scrap

The Canadian recycler Li-Cycle has signed an agreement with Ultium Cells, the battery joint venture of General Motors and LG Energy Solutions, to recycle production scrap that is generated at the company's plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

The plant, which will make cells for GM's Hummer and Cadillac Lyriq, will at full production produce 30 GWh of Ultium's new NMCA cells, a volume which should be expandable in the future. Production is set to start in 2022, the same year that Li-Cycle's 60 ktpa plant in Rochester will be commissioned.

Production scrap is generated through out the battery production, from failures and cuttings in electrode production to cells that don't meet the rigid quality requirements. Hence the scrap is generated at various stages and require different treatment methods. How much waste that is generated depends on a producer's stage in production (ramp up or full production), volume and level of automation and quality control.

Our estimate for the Lordstown plant is that it might generate up to 10,000 tonnes of cell equivalent scrap per year when it's at full production. That might however take a while and requires a successful launch of the Hummer and Lyriq. In 2020 GM placed 1.4 Gwh of batteries on the US EV market which can be compared with Tesla's 15 GWh.

More from Li-Cycle here.