Sustainable battery materials manufacturer Ascend Elements has opened its first commercial-scale lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Covington, Georgia.
The Massachusetts-based company claims that the Base 1 facility, which cost $50 million to build, is the largest electric vehicle (EV) battery recycling facility in North America.
Partial operations at the facility began in August 2022 and it now has an annual capacity of processing 30,000 metric tons of used lithium-ion batteries and manufacturing scrap. This is equivalent to 70,000 EV batteries per year.
The facility is powered by renewable energy and features onsite wastewater recycling and treatment systems.
Ascend says it can recover up to 98 percent of the critical battery metals in used EV batteries and gigafactory manufacturing scrap with its patented Hydro-to-Cathode process. The company adds that it can decrease the carbon footprint of new EV battery cathode materials by up to 90 percent by recycling used lithium-ion batteries and scrap.
“This facility is an important part of America’s EV battery infrastructure, and this is just the start,” said Mike O’Kronley, CEO of Ascend Elements. “As an industry, we need to continue building our closed-loop battery materials supply chain to make electric vehicle batteries cleaner and more sustainable.”
The company currently employs about 100 people at the facility and plans to increase the workforce to 185 by 2024.