Leading the evolution of battery recycling materials

Cirba Solutions explores how its state-of-the-art battery recycling process is helping to pioneer a circular supply chain to accelerate the transition to electrified transport.

There is an evolution taking place to electrify all transportation, but also in the materials needed for battery production to reduce the strain on natural resources that will not be able to keep up with the demand alone.

The quality and quantity of battery materials available in the coming years will be critical in supporting electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing to meet the projected demand and government-set goals for carbon reduction. As the most experienced processor for end-of-life and manufacturing scrap batteries, Cirba Solutions leads the circular supply chain by scaling up the production of quality materials that support the growing demand for battery manufacturing.

Understanding black mass

For many years, black mass has been the main processing output for battery recycling. But what is black mass, and what does it mean to provide it? Black mass is a term often used in the battery industry to describe a mixed metals product produced from end-of-life batteries in the recycling process. Black mass is the first step in materials production toward being able to reuse recycled batteries in new battery production. The term is so widely used that it can mean several different things, and it can have varying qualities and materials contained in it. The reason for this is the varying amounts of metals within different batteries as well, so black mass must be refined and the materials extracted out to be usable.

Circular supply chain and traceability

The battery industry is focused on providing upgraded materials to help build a strong and more sustainable battery circular supply chain. Cirba Solutions was awarded over $82m from two recent U.S. Department of Energy grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will expedite the closed-loop EV battery recycling supply chain through Cirba Solutions’ processing facilities.

These grants will support the expansion of an existing lithium-ion facility in Lancaster, Ohio, to produce battery-grade critical minerals used in cathode production. These battery-grade salts provide premium quality recycled content for cathode manufacturing, both supporting the increased need for critical materials and enhancing overall accessibility to sustainable content.

With 30 years of industry-leading expertise, Cirba Solutions is the most trusted battery solution partner because of its experience in the field, efficient processing, and traceability transparency. The company has serviced over 7,000 customers during that period, recycling hundreds of millions of pounds of battery materials.

When manufacturers recycle their batteries with Cirba Solutions, the material is tracked to the location with one of our specially-trained fleet truck drivers until the time it is disassembled, processed, and the materials recovered are on their way back into battery production. This provides peace of mind, knowing materials and products are staying within the circular supply chain.

The future outlook for battery recycling

No matter what the chemical and metal makeup of battery materials are as the industry moves forward, there is no question that the demand for them will only continue to increase as the electrification transformation takes place. Cirba Solutions is uniquely positioned and expertly equipped to satisfy our future electrification needs.

Please note, this article will also appear in the thirteenth edition of our quarterly publication.

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Contributor Details

Danielle Spalding

VP, Marketing & Digital Engagement
Cirba Solutions
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