World class lithium recycling development gets the go-ahead.

Ecobatt, part of the Ecocycle group of companies has given the go-ahead for a new $30 million lithium battery recycling plant. Importantly, creating a total processing precinct for batteries at the group’s headquarters in Campbellfield, Victoria.  To be operational in late 2025 the plant will use cutting edge technology from Europe. The plant will be able to process more than 30,000 tonnes of batteries per year. Above all it will provide an unmatched sustainable solution to Australia’s anticipated lithium battery waste streams for the next decade.  The new plant will recover up to 98% of the active materials from lithium batteries.

Following visits to more than 40 battery recycling in recent years, Ecobatt has appointed URT Umwelt-und Reyclingtechnik.  This German company has built and commissioned numerous large lithium battery recycling plants around the world.

Commenting on the appointment Group Managing Director, Doug Rowe, of the Ecocycle group of companies highlighted the importance of safety for the workers and environment.  “One of the attractions of URT’s plant was that the technology incorporates advanced safety measures while implementing standards not previously seen or used in Australia”.

The technology is designed to prevent the release of solvents by distilling and capturing the spent electrolyte for recycling.  The off-gases and exhaust air are collected throughout the process.  They are then treated via several scrubbers, carbon absorption and finally a large, high-temperature treatment point for ensuring all toxic and volatile organic compounds and fluorides are handled to the highest environmental regulations.  Not previously seen in Australia it ensures workers and the environment are protected from these gases.

Urban Mining

Described by recycling companies as urban mining, the facility will produce green metals for reuse in industry.  The recovered black mass will be refined to recover the lithium, graphite, cobalt, and nickel.  Likewise the steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminium, and circuit boards will be individually separated.

The new technology allows Ecobatt to batch process the varying chemistries and to keep the black mass separated.   Thereby sending the various grades to those operations who offer the most effective treatment outcomes.

The new plant will complete the journey for Ecobatt as the largest lithium and battery recycler in Australia.

Doug is philosophical about what is a large-scale investment for his company.  “The plant is a major investment in this recycling industry and while we understand the challenges, the risks, and the low return on investment, we can’t just keep doing what we know is not working. Lithium batteries are not going away and need to be recycled properly”.

“We are keen to pave the way for a greener, more sustainable world”.


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