15/09/2021 - 14:51

Neometals marching towards battery recycling trials

15/09/2021 - 14:51

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Innovative project developer, Neometals and its partner, SMS Group, have moved a step closer to testing their lithium-ion battery recycling technology after successfully managing to integrate the first two stages of its showcase recycling demonstration plant in Germany. The duo, via their 50-50 Primobius joint venture, is looking to recover valuable materials such as lithium, nickel and cobalt from end-of-life batteries.

Second stage refinery circuit at the battery recycling demonstration plant operated through Neometals’ joint venture in Germany. Credit: File

Innovative project developer, Neometals and its partner, SMS Group, have moved a step closer to testing their lithium-ion battery recycling technology after successfully managing to integrate the first two stages of its showcase recycling demonstration plant in Germany. The duo, via their 50-50 Primobius joint venture, is looking to recover valuable materials such as lithium, nickel and cobalt from end-of-life batteries.

Commissioning of the hydrometallurgical refining circuits marks a significant milestone, second stage achievement following the first stage constructing of the shredding and beneficiation circuit.

Management says leaching of intermediate active material from the first stage, known as ‘black mass’, and filtering of carbon anode residue has now commenced. Individual solvent extraction circuits used to recover copper, manganese, cobalt, nickel and lithium from the black mass will now be commissioned.

Primobius, an equal joint venture between Neometals and leading German supplier of metallurgical equipment and services, SMS Group, is testing its proprietary recycling technology at the demonstration plant. The partners plan to make an investment decision on a commercial-scale recycling operation which utilises both stages of the process currently being tested.

A feasibility study and final investment decision on the commercial-scale, 50 tonne per day plant remain on target for next year.

The demonstration trials, using both stages of the refining process, are due to commence next month and are expected to be completed by the end of November.

Following the trials, the demonstration plant is set to be modified into a 10 tonne per day shredding operation as Primobius looks to fast-track its venture to commercialisation. It will concurrently continue to evaluate the potential of the large-scale 50 tonne per day venture.

The shredder plant is set to provide battery disposal services to European vehicle and cell manufacturers. Primobius plans to shred batteries, physically separate battery components and sell mixed cathode and anode black mass from its site in the German town of Hilchenbach.

Battery disposal recycling services from the shredder plant are projected to commence in the first quarter next year.

According to Neometals, Europe represents the fastest growing lithium-ion battery production market outside of China, with Germany holding the title of the largest car manufacturer in Europe. The company appears to be right in the thick of things with testing of its lithium-ion battery recycling technology just around the corner and then perhaps a commercial-scale operation not too far away either.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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