The vertically integrated lithium-ion battery recycling and manufacturing company Battery Resourcers recently completed a 20 million dollar Series B equity round with financing led by Orbia Ventures and participation from other investors including At One Ventures, TDK Ventures, Trumpf Venture, Doral Energy-Tech Ventures and Jaguar Land Rover's InMotion Ventures.
The financing will support the development of a commercial-scale processing facility with the annual capacity to process 10,000 tons of batteries — or the batteries from approximately 20,000 electric vehicles (EVs) a year.
Unlike other battery recycling companies, Battery Resourcers offers a new approach to lithium-ion battery manufacturing, starting with a mixed stream of used lithium-ion batteries and ending with the production of finished, battery-ready cathode active materials. With 97% metal recovery, Battery Resourcers can produce Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC)-based cathode active materials with 35% reduction in cost, 32% reduction in emissions, and 13% reduction in energy consumption compared to the production of virgin cathode.
The company is also engineering a novel process for graphite recovery and purification, which will enable it to return both the cathode and anode active materials back to manufacturers of new batteries.
"Battery Resourcers is on the verge of revolutionizing the lithium-ion battery supply chain," said Battery Resourcers CEO Mike O'Kronley. "Being able to convert scrap and end-of-life battery materials into finished, cathode active material that can be directly used in making new batteries drives increased profitability and stability for the lithium-ion battery ecosystem. Our investment partners share our vision and passion for scaling this revolutionary process to support the battery material supply chain."
O'Kronley said Battery Resourcers is also helping the EV industry address several complex environmental and regulatory issues. As lithium-ion batteries are discarded during manufacturing or reach their end of life, finding new ways to recycle and reuse materials will reduce reliance on mined metals, which pose significant environmental and social challenges. Additionally, millions of EVs will hit the road in the coming years and new regulations mandate recycling of spent batteries and use of recycled metals in new batteries.
Sameer Bharadwaj, CEO of Orbia said, "The recycling of critical battery components into cathode active material is a value leap in getting to sustainable and scalable production of lithium-ion batteries. By integrating refinement and materials engineering processes, we believe Battery Resourcers' approach can stabilize the cathode supply chain in North America while accelerating the shift to a clean, circular future – a goal we are very much invested in at Orbia as we seek to generate innovative solutions that advance life around the world."
Battery Resourcers was founded in 2015 in Worcester, Mass. as a spinout from the lab of Prof. Yan Wang at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Through the support of the US Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), Battery Resourcers has developed the technology to convert mixed streams of lithium-ion batteries, regardless of their chemistry, to produce various Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC)-based cathode active materials. A key advantage of this process is it takes old battery material and "erases" all memory of previous battery chemistry and then creates a new, finished cathode active material that can be directly used to produce current-generation lithium-ion batteries.