Lithium-ion battery recycling plant coming to Gilbert

Li-Cycle, the largest lithium-ion battery recycler in North America, has announced plans to build its third recycling facility in Gilbert. 

This “Spoke 3” facility will be able to process up to 10,000 tons of dead batteries and battery manufacturing scrap a year. The company’s other two “spokes,” or facilities, are located in Rochester, N.Y., where Li-Cycle is headquartered, and Kingston, Ontario. This move is part of the company’s expansion plan that includes building 20 Spokes around the world over the next five years. They also have plans to establish their New York headquarters as the company’s North American hub. 

The Li-Cycle Spokes convert battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries into a powdery substance called “black mass.” It contains a variety of metals, including lithium, cobalt and nickel and can be used to produce battery-grade materials to be returned into the economy. Each Spoke is used to convert the battery products into black mass, while processing of the black mass will take place at the company’s future North American hub.

In building these facilities, Li-Cycle hopes to achieve the industry-leading mass resource recovery rate of up to 95%. These facilities are also meant to minimize the environmental footprint of the resource recovery process and reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions produced from mining the resources.

“The Company’s cutting-edge technology fills a growing supply chain need while providing an eco-friendly solution for battery recycling,” Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority president, said in a press release. 

Gov. Doug Ducey is “thrilled” that the company is building in Arizona, saying that “Li-Cycle is a welcome addition to Arizona’s thriving technology ecosystem.” Ducey notes that this facility will support the state’s growing electric vehicle industry, which includes plants built by Lucid Motors and Nikola Motor Company, by helping meet the demand for batteries and battery materials.