Grand Opening: Wolverhampton Battery Recycling Plant
A new industrial-scale electric car battery recycling plant has opened in the Midlands.
Recyclus, which runs the £10 million facility in Wolverhampton, said it expected 8,300 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries would be processed in the first year.
It had secured an Environment Agency permit allowing the company to process up to 22,000 tonnes a year, the firm said.
The operation will grow if emissions stay within approved levels.
Recyclus said it would shortly start a phase in which "any emissions are carefully monitored and recorded".
Providing they continue not to exceed approved amounts, the number of processing hours will be increased until the facility "reaches continuous operation".
End-of-life lithium-ion batteries will be fed into the plant to produce black mass, which contains "critical battery metals that can be reprocessed and sold back into the battery supply chain".
Recyclus said it anticipated getting money for collecting and storing lithium-ion batteries and from the sale of black mass.
Batteries from e-scooters and mobile phones could be recycled.
The Lincoln Street firm said the aim was for the company to increase its processing capability by building four more lithium-ion recycling plants in the UK.
Recyclus co-founder and director Robin Brundle said: "With the ongoing global shift towards electrification, the accumulation of discarded batteries poses a significant challenge, underscoring the need for recycling initiatives such as our Wolverhampton plant."
Critical materials research fellow Dr Gavin Harper said, "every piece of the jigsaw that we see being built in the UK is certainly very welcome news".
However, he added that it was important to look "at the overall picture and the bits that we're missing".
Dr Harper, from the University of Birmingham, stated: "If we can get all of those bits of the jigsaw together, then the UK could certainly benefit from a thriving battery industry.
"But at the moment we're lagging behind in the race, relative to the US, Europe, and certainly China."