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Ontario Company Manufactures Lithium Ingots from Recycled Materials
Ontario Company Manufactures Lithium Ingots from Recycled Materials

Ontario Company Manufactures Lithium Ingots from Recycled Materials

  • 01-Dec-2023 3:14 PM
  • Journalist: Li Hua

Li-Metal, a pioneer in lithium metal anode and lithium metal production technologies, has achieved a significant milestone by successfully producing and dispatching its inaugural batch of lithium metal ingots. The production took place at Li-Metal's newly commissioned lithium metal reprocessing and casting facility situated in Markham, Ontario. This state-of-the-art facility has the capacity to process up to 15 metric tonnes of anode scrap material annually.

In traditional extrusion processes, lithium metal is typically required in ingot form. Gigafactories, despite their efficiency, often generate production scrap with up to a 30% metal scrap rate. Regrettably, lithium metal ingot manufacturing scraps are currently classified as hazardous waste and commonly subjected to incineration, resulting in the loss of critical battery materials.

In a commendable effort to enhance the sustainability of lithium metal anodes and address the environmental impact of incinerating scrap lithium metal, Li-Metal has developed an innovative reprocessing and casting technology. This pioneering technology allows for the reprocessing of scrap lithium into ingots that can be seamlessly integrated into anode production.

The lithium metal ingots, substantial blocks of metal, were crafted using lithium material sourced from production scrap obtained from lithium foil producers. Li-Metal is actively evaluating scrap samples from various partners with the aim of scaling up its capacity. The company envisions leveraging the pilot facility and the knowledge acquired during the reprocessing facility's scale-up to assist potential partners in manufacturing high-purity specialty lithium-alloy ingots tailored for advanced battery producers.

Earlier in the year, Li-Metal accomplished another significant milestone by successfully producing its first lithium metal product using its patented C2M technology at its lithium metal pilot facility in Markham, Ontario. The C2M technology is specifically designed to yield high-quality lithium metal ingots with the lowest environmental footprint globally. The company's added capability to produce lithium metal ingots from scrap introduces diversity in raw material supply, a critical aspect as Li-Metal continues to progress its C2M metal technology and ultra-thin lithium metal anodes platform.

Conventional lithium-ion batteries, while widely used, face challenges such as limited energy density, slow charging, capacity fade, and safety concerns. In response to these challenges, next-generation battery technologies are being developed, aiming to replace graphite anodes with lithium metal. The anticipated scale-up of these technologies by 2028-2030 holds the promise of delivering compact and high-capacity power sources, potentially unlocking new markets, including electric aviation and eVTOLs, and addressing electric vehicle range anxiety.

Aligned with the scale-up of these technologies, Li-Metal is advancing its vertically integrated lithium metal and anode technology platform. The objective is to produce ultra-thin, high-performance lithium metal anodes that will play a pivotal role in enabling the commercialization of next-generation battery technologies. As Li-Metal continues to push boundaries in sustainable battery solutions, the company positions itself as a key player in the transformative landscape of lithium metal and anode technologies.

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