Ascend Elements and Elemental Strategic Metals Form JV to Recycle EV Batteries

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US-based Ascend Elements and Poland’s Elemental Strategic Metals have formed a joint venture to address the mounting concern of electric vehicle (EV) battery waste. Investment details were not revealed.

The joint venture, named AE Elemental, will establish EV battery recycling facilities in Europe, starting with a facility in Poland, and another slated for Germany, Reuters news report said.

The inaugural plant, situated in Zawiercie, southern Poland, has commenced operations and boasts a recycling capacity of up to 12,000 metric tons of batteries annually, equivalent to approximately 28,000 EVs.

Against the backdrop of the European Union’s mandate requiring an increased proportion of materials in EV batteries to be recycled over the next decade, the joint venture underscores a concerted effort to bolster the region’s battery recycling infrastructure.

Ascend Elements CEO, Mike O’Kronley, emphasized the necessity of investment and infrastructure to maintain battery materials within the European supply chain.
Ascend ElementsThe recycling process involves shredding EV batteries to produce a substance known as black mass, from which lithium and other battery materials are extracted for utilization in manufacturing new EVs.

AE Elemental plans to construct a lithium extraction plant on the same site in Zawiercie by 2026. This facility is projected to process up to 20,000 metric tons of black mass annually.

Ascend Elements is in the midst of establishing a separate recycling plant dedicated to battery materials. Meanwhile, in central Germany, the companies have secured permits for another recycling plant, capable of handling up to 25,000 tons of batteries per year, although the specific location remains undisclosed.

Ascend Elements has amassed approximately $700 million in equity funding and received $480 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, underlining the Joe Biden administration’s efforts to bolster EV battery production.

With an existing battery recycling plant in Georgia and a second facility underway in Kentucky, Ascend Elements is actively contributing to the sustainable management of EV batteries.

On the other hand, Elemental Strategic Metals, a division of the Element Group, has raised $290 million in equity funding and is on the cusp of concluding another funding round.

Elemental Strategic Metals CEO Michal Zygmunt stressed the urgency of their collaborative approach, asserting that pooling resources enables them to expedite their initiatives.

The partnership between Ascend Elements and Elemental Strategic Metals epitomizes a concerted effort to address the environmental challenges associated with EV battery disposal while aligning with broader sustainability goals in the automotive industry. News Desk

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