Ascend Elements Secures $300 Million in Funding
Ascend Elements, a U.S.-based engineered materials and lithium-ion battery recycling company, today announced it has secured $300 million in equity and debt financing, including $200 million in Series C equity investments from an international group of strategic and financial investors. The funding round was led by Fifth Wall Climate and joined by SK ecoplant, the environmental unit of South Korean conglomerate SK Group. Other new investors include Oman Investment Authority, Lithium Americas Corporation, GLy Capital Management’s New Mobility Fund, Mirae Asset Capital & LS and Shinhan GIB. Many investors from previous funding rounds also participated in the latest round, including Hitachi Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures, TDK Ventures, Orbia Ventures, At One Ventures, TRUMPF Venture, and Doral Energy-Tech Ventures. This funding is in addition to two recently awarded grants totaling $480 million from the Department of Energy.
This funding, along with the grants, will accelerate commercialization of Ascend Elements’ innovative and proprietary Hydro-to-Cathode™ direct precursor synthesis process, which establishes a closed-loop, EV battery materials supply chain in North America. The announcement follows Ascend Elements’ recently disclosed plans to invest up to $1 billion to build a sustainable lithium-ion battery materials facility in Hopkinsville, Ky. The first-of-its-kind manufacturing facility, known as “Apex 1”, will produce enough lithium-ion battery pCAM and sustainable CAM to equip up to 250,000 electric vehicles per year.
Ascend Elements to Recycle Lithium-ion Battery Manufacturing Scrap for SK Battery America
Ascend Elements, the vertically integrated lithium-ion battery recycling and engineered-materials company previously known as Battery Resourcers, today announced it has been selected by SK Battery America (SKBA) to recycle both cell and module lithium-ion battery manufacturing scrap from the company’s manufacturing facility in Commerce, Ga. The scrap material will be recycled at Ascend Elements’ new 154,000-square-foot battery recycling facility in Covington, Ga., which can recover 98% of battery materials and return critical battery elements to the battery supply chain.
Recycled cathode materials enabled superior performance for lithium-ion batteries
Recycling spent lithium-ion batteries plays a significant role in alleviating the shortage of raw materials and environmental problems. However, recycled materials are deemed inferior to commercial materials, preventing the industry from adopting recycled materials in new batteries. Here, we demonstrate that the recycled LiNi1/3Mn1/3Co1/3O2 has a superior rate and cycle performance, verified by various industry-level tests. Specifically, 1 Ah cells with the recycled LiNi1/3Mn1/3Co1/3O2 have the best cycle life result reported for recycled materials and enable 4,200 cycles and 11,600 cycles at 80% and 70% capacity retention, which is 33% and 53% better than the state-of-the-art, commercial LiNi1/3Mn1/3Co1/3O2. Meanwhile, its rate performance is 88.6% better than commercial powders at 5C. From experimental and modeling results, the unique microstructure of recycled materials enables superior electrochemical performance. The recycled material outperforms commercially available equivalent, providing a green and sustainable solution for spent lithium-ion batteries.
Battery Resourcers Secures $70 Million in New Funding
Battery Resourcers, a vertically integrated lithium-ion battery recycling and manufacturing company, today announced the closing of its latest mid-round funding totalling $70 million. The company will use this latest funding round to advance and expand the industry’s most sustainable, cutting-edge closed loop material production technology that accepts mixed input of scrap batteries and end of life batteries to produce cathode material. In response to increased demand for sustainable battery production, Battery Resources will also expand commercial plants that will be operational in the U.S. and in Europe by the end of 2022.
Hitachi Ventures became the newest investor to join the world-class syndicate of strategic and financial investors already backing Battery Resourcers’ approach and technology. Existing investors include Orbia Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures, Doral Energy, At One Ventures, TDK Ventures and Trumpf Ventures.