- EcoGraf Limited has received high quality results from the EcoGrafTM purification of production battery anode scrap generated through the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries.
- Recovery of high purity anode material of up to 99.6% carbon has been confirmed through further positive results.
- Recent research, like World Bank Group ‘Minerals for Climate Action’ report, emphasises on the importance of battery recycling.
- EGR is progressing with testwork in close collaboration with customers while results from EcoGraf™ validate the potential to support EV and battery manufacturers in attaining sustainable closed-loop manufacturing.
EcoGraf Limited (ASX:EGR), an eco-friendly and sustainable graphite and battery components player, has achieved significant results from its ongoing customer recycling programs using EcoGrafTM proprietary purification process.
The Company has been predominantly focusing on the recycling and recovery of cathode minerals, with lesser emphasis placed on the recycling of graphite anode material. The EcoGrafTM proprietary purification process has now been applied successfully to the recycling of both ‘production scrap’ and ‘black mass’ materials through testing undertaken in collaboration with potential customers. It is to be noted that the process is designed for the recovery of high purity battery anode material from lithium-ion battery materials.
The black mass, the residual graphite material remaining after hydrometallurgical processes, is believed to be a waste and is relegated to landfill, which is a practice that is now inconsistent with environmental and sustainability objectives of major electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturers.
Results Indicate Potential to Achieve Excellent Recycling Recoveries
Besides the extensive growth in lithium-ion battery use and manufacturing for electric vehicles and energy storage, a major environmental and economic concern for both government and industry is the recycling of batteries and battery materials.
The potential to achieve excellent recycling recoveries from Production Scrap and Black Mass material using EGR’s EcoGrafTM purification process has been demonstrated through the results of recycling programs.
Numerically stating, the table below highlights the carbon grade ranges of the recovered anode materials before and after purification using EcoGrafTM proprietary purification process.
Significantly, the carbon grades attained for the recovered anode material indicate the prospects for re-use of
- Production scrap into the lithium-ion supply chain
- Black mass graphite into the higher-priced, high purity industrial markets for natural and the synthetic markets
Moreover, a significant upside for the Company is offered through the purification of the production scrap for EcoGrafTM to participate in returning this material directly back into the supply chain. This shall also extend support to the recycling imperative and simultaneously reducing battery production costs potentially.
Interesting Read: Emerging battery technologies in the era of electric mobility
The figure below shows that the high purity graphite market is considered >99% carbon with the synthetic market starting with grades from 98% carbon:
Moreover, the effective implementation of EGR’s EcoGraf™ purification process offers a prospect to assist EV and battery manufacturers in accomplishing sustainable closed-loop manufacturing processes.
Presently, EGR, in collaboration with customers, is carrying out further work to refine the process. The Company anticipates additional improvement as the recycling programs using the EcoGrafTM process are optimised for this recycling purpose.
Reports Layout Significance of Battery Recycling
Recycling of batteries has been a matter of concern for quite some time, and recent reports support the significance of battery recycling.
- The role of recycling and re-use of minerals in meeting increasing mineral demand in the future has been highlighted by the World Bank Group ‘Minerals for Climate Action’ report.
Moreover, it is projected that battery anode material shall comprise 54% of the total volume of future mineral demand for energy applications.
- The market is forecast to be worth US$18 billion by 2030, as per Bloomberg, and would be supported by regulatory directives, especially in Europe.
These regulatory directives require battery manufacturers to finance the cost of collecting, treating and recycling waste batteries.
Significantly, major battery anode materials are natural and synthetic graphite in lithium-ion battery, and there are believed to be significant markets in natural as well as synthetic graphite markets for the recycled materials.
Moreover, EGR is optimistic that the market pricing for high purity natural graphite has the potential to entice prices of around US$4,500/t. More importantly, for synthetic graphite products, much higher prices can be received, ranging from US$2,000/t up to US$20,000/t for niche synthetic materials.
EGR, which is continuing with the testwork, has received more than six expressions of interest from customers, interested in evaluating the application its EcoGrafTM purification process, including:
- Leading electric vehicle manufacturers
- Battery manufacturers
- Battery recyclers
Stock Performance - EGR stock inched upward by 4.348% to settle the day’s trade at AU$0.072 on 17 August 2020 with a market capitalisation of AU$25.12 million. The one-month return of the stock was noted at more than 11%.