In Covington, Georgia, a 30,000-ton-per-year recycling facility for batteries and battery scrap just switched on the disassembly line for the very first time.
Inside its walls, a Massachusetts-based startup will be harvesting lithium carbonate, cobalt, manganese, and other battery minerals and selling them back to the market, circumventing the huge challenges that come from opening new mines.
Ascend Elements hopes to take advantage of massive government spending on electric vehicle production by dotting the Carolinas, Georgia, Tenessee, and the Midwest with recycling facilities within an hour’s drive from new automotive plants.
The Covington location can take apart around 70,000 electric vehicles worth of batteries, while allegedly providing enough free cash flow to allow Ascend to pay car manufacturers a little for their old batteries to make doubly sure they don’t end up in landfills.
Once they arrive on site, the batteries are shredded and sieved into “black mass” which is sorted by mineral type.
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