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Multi-million pound deal to boost vehicle-battery recycling

EMR's Duddeston battery centre

Australian firm Renewable Metals is to build a demonstration plant for battery shredding and critical-minerals refinery in the UK after securing a deal with scrap giant EMR.

The “multi-million” pound agreement will see the Warrington-headquartered vehicle recycler take a “significant stake” in the Antipodean innovator.

Renewable Metals’ process has fewer steps than existing recycling routes for lithium-ion batteries and can deliver high recovery rates without producing sodium sulfate.

Its two-stage system of shredding and refining yields nickel and copper as well as cobalt, lithium and manganese salts, all of which can go directly back into the battery supply chain.

EMR will commit end-of-life batteries to the demonstrator plant, which will be built at the UK firm’s complex in Birmingham and could be operational next year.

It said the deal would allow it to deliver a “truly circular solution” for the domestic recycling of lithium-ion batteries.

Roger Morton, managing director for technology and innovation at EMR, said: “The team behind Renewable Metals have a world class reputation in this field developed over many years, so we are thrilled to be working together with them on this exciting project.

“Electric-vehicle battery recycling is a challenge we are working extremely hard to deliver and that is exactly what we’re doing here.”