Published on 13th July 2023
In the early years, lithium was known as a low-volume auxiliary material in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
Over the years, lithium has gained prominence in the form of lithium-ion batteries (rechargeable batteries, which are also known as “LIBs”) used in a variety of applications, including:
The accelerating transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is one of the biggest drivers of battery demand with automotive batteries estimated to become “the largest share of batteries for recycling.”
Worldwide, the number of scrapped lithium-ion batteries is expected to increase with the boost in the production and ownership of EVs.
According to Blackridge Research & Consulting, “11 million tons of spent lithium-ion batteries are estimated to become battery scrap by 2030 due to the transition to EVs.”
A battery can undergo multiple recycling cycles to produce raw materials with the same purity as that of materials that come from mining.
As a clean technology, battery recycling ensures sustainable recycling of battery waste while meeting the demand for key battery materials and supporting the electrification of mobility.
Recycling batteries assumes greater significance because dumping expired batteries results in contamination of the environment with toxic compounds. It can also cause batteries to degrade, self-ignite, or start fires in landfills.
Lithium-ion battery recyclers are investing in advanced technologies to recover critical components from all types of lithium-ion batteries and return valuable battery materials to create a closed-loop battery supply chain for a sustainable future.
Biometallurgical, hydrometallurgical, and pyrometallurgical are the most common processes used to recycle spent lithium-ion batteries.
Furthermore, solvent extraction in hydrometallurgy is a common chemical extraction process that uses an organic solvent as the extractant for separation and recovery of metals from complex matrices.
Continue reading to learn more about the top players in the lithium-ion battery recycling industry.
Table of Contents
Global Top 10 Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Companies 
American Battery Technology Company
American Manganese Inc. (RecycLiCo Battery Materials Inc.)
Ganfeng Lithium Group Co., Ltd.
LG Energy Solution Ltd.
Li-Cycle Holdings Corp.
Lithion Recycling Inc. (Lithion Technologies)
Redwood Materials, Inc.
Retriev Technologies, Inc. (Cirba Solutions)
Blackridge Research & Consulting – Global Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Market Report
Here are the world’s leading lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery recycling companies (listed alphabetically):
Location: Reno, Nevada, United States
Formerly known as “American Battery Metals Corporation,” American Battery Technology Company (ABTC) is a prominent lithium resource exploration and development company.
The company is engaged in the supply of low-cost, low-environmental impact, and domestically sourced battery metals to support a sustainable closed-loop battery metal economy.
ABTC offers the following solutions:
ABTC has pioneered a battery recycling process to separate and recover critical materials from end-of-life batteries and then purify these battery metals to the same- or higher-quality specifications compared to conventional virgin-sourced materials.
ABTC’s integrated battery recycling system is based on a “de-manufacturing” approach to extracting metals and recovering materials from spent batteries.
The recycling process uses a combination of an automated deconstruction process and a targeted hydrometallurgical, non-smelting process that deconstructs battery packs to modules, modules to cells, cells to sub-cell components, followed by a strategic sorting and separating of sub-cell components.
By recovering and recycling battery materials, ABTC is helping reduce the need to mine for virgin resources while addressing domestic battery metals supply shortages.
Compared to current conventional methods, ABTC’s highly efficient and streamlined process provides greater net benefits, such as:
ABTC’s Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Pilot Plant in Fernley, Nevada, consists of new building spaces, including an office building with laboratories, a production building, and a finished goods warehouse.
ABTC also plans to build a universal waste storage facility in Fernley and a hazardous waste storage facility in McCarran, Nevada.
Location: Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Formerly known as “American Manganese Inc.,” RecycLiCo Battery Materials Inc. is a battery recycling and upcycling company.
The company specializes in recycling 99% of cathode metals from lithium-ion battery scrap and upcycling them to battery-ready materials with high purity.
Since 2016, the company has been engaged in battery recycling and contributing to a sustainable circular economy through 100% sourcing from recycled Li-ion batteries.
Unlike traditional lithium-ion battery recycling processes, the highly adaptable RecycLiCo™ Patented Process eliminates multiple, energy-intensive steps and produces higher value battery materials ready for new battery production.
The proprietary recycling and upcycling process leverages modern cathode chemistries, such as:
Here are the main benefits of the RecycLiCo™-enabled ZERO LOSS Battery Production™:
Location: Dallas, Texas, United States
Known as “the world’s largest recycler of batteries,” Ecobat is a global leader in lithium battery collection and recycling management services. The company harnesses lead, lithium and other materials to make battery recycling safer and sustainable for a circular energy economy.
The “Ecobat” brand encompasses four divisions—Ecobat Resources, Ecobat Logistics, Ecobat Battery, and Ecobat Solutions. The acquisition of Promesa in 2021 added crushing and sorting capabilities to Ecobat’s lithium battery recycling services.
Apart from 65,000 battery collection points, Ecobat has 14 smelting facilities, three lithium-focused facilities, and a collection truck fleet to ensure a seamless service for battery collection and recycling.
The industry-leading battery recycler has invested in state-of-the-art high- and low-voltage equipment to conduct EV battery, module, and cell testing and diagnostics to the most demanding quality standards with accommodation for additional OEM-specific test requirements.
Furthermore, Ecobat’s international network of facilities includes an Advanced Diagnostics and Engineering Center in the UK with the capability to test, diagnose, re-engineer, and repurpose EV batteries and modules.
According to Ecobat, it is “the only European provider of fully integrated Stage 1-3 lithium battery recycling services and management services for Stage 4.”
Stage 1 (Collection)
Ecobat uses fully approved and specialized containers for end-of-life, damaged and defective or critical Li-ion battery transport or battery storage. While qualified Ecobat personnel inspect batteries prior to removal, collection and transportation engage ADR (Accord Dangereux Routier)-compliant vehicles.
Stage 2 (Discharge & Dismantling)
The next stage following the collection and safe transportation of lithium-ion EV batteries involves receiving the batteries at the Diagnostic and Disassembly Center and storing in an evaluation and pre-qualification area. Here, batteries are assigned a unique ID after performing initial assessments.
Ecobat has also established a safe pre-evaluation and disassembly process for every type of battery. This stage includes initial manual disassembly and repeat manual disassembly processes.
After a thorough assessment, the battery is tested inside the processing facility and returned to the external containment area for retesting and certification.
Stage 3 (Crushing & Sorting)
Ecobat Solutions’ energy-efficient and economical lithium battery treatment allows the crushing and proper sorting of parts and chemistries for battery recycling (regardless of design and chemistry).
Stage 4 (Hydromet)
When Stage 3 is complete, Ecobat Solutions facilitates urban mining with trusted partners to handle the black mass that is generated and extract active materials like cobalt, lead, manganese, and nickel to be reused in building new lithium batteries.
Location: Xinyu, Jiangxi Province, China
Founded by Li Liangbin, Ganfeng Lithium Group Co., Ltd. (also known as “Ganfeng”) is known as “China’s largest lithium compounds producer” and “the world’s largest lithium metals producer in terms of production capacity.”
Ganfeng Lithium is the first publicly listed lithium company in China with expertise in the following:
Starting with the first lithium metal production base in 2003, Ganfeng Lithium grew over the years—from developing Chinese production bases to holding high-quality mineral resources in China, Argentina, Australia, and Mexico.
The company also established Ningdu Jiangxi Ganfeng Recycling Technology Co., Ltd. to promote waste battery recycling (2016) and the first solid-state lithium battery R&D pilot production line (2017).
According to Ganfeng Lithium, it is “the only company in the lithium industry with commercial scale technologies to extract lithium from brine, ore, and recycled materials.”
Ganfeng Lithium specializes in recycling instead of discarding resources, such as:
While Ganfeng Lithium’s lithium battery recycling concept is focused on “using limited resources to create unlimited value,” the technology is divided into the following:
Battery-grade lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, and ternary precursor materials are the main products of lithium battery recycling, which uses highly automated production equipment with excellent durability and reliability.
Location: Seoul, South Korea
LG Energy Solution Ltd. (LGES) is one of the world’s largest battery manufacturers and a subsidiary of LG Chem Ltd.—stated to be “South Korea’s largest chemical company.”
LG Chem strives to ensure a stable supply of raw materials for LGES through various investments and partnerships with foreign companies.
LGES is developing various business models and technologies to maximize the economic, environmental, and social values of battery recycling and build a circular battery ecosystem.
For example, LGES is building a closed-loop system to collect and recycle non-reusable batteries and scraps generated during production and reinject the extracted materials into the production stage.
LGES collects end-of-life batteries at each global manufacturing site in strategic cooperation with leading recycling companies.
According to a press release, Ultium Cells LLC (a JV between LGES and General Motors) teamed up with Li-Cycle (an industry leader in lithium-ion battery recycling) to recycle crucial battery components, such as aluminum, cobalt, lithium, and nickel, from disposed EV battery cells.
Another industry news source stated that LGES signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co. to build a battery recycling plant to extract cobalt, lithium, and nickel—key lithium-ion battery components—from scrap batteries and used batteries.
In addition to establishing the closed loop at the Nanjing Plant in China, LGES plans to make it available in all global sites, including Europe, Korea, and the U.S. by 2025.
LGES’ battery reuse process includes the following stages:
Collection of end-of-life batteries: A regional collection system collects end-of-life batteries not fit for automotive use. Later, these batteries are assessed to determine second-life applications. Moreover, this stage involves separate transportation and storage of reusable batteries.
Reconditioning and refurbishing: While reconditioning involves classifying reusable batteries based on their conditions and second-life applications, refurbishing customizes reusable batteries to meet the safety standards and technical requirements of different applications.
Redistributing for sale and marketing: Ready-for-reuse batteries are distributed to markets for optimal use, and a recycling collection system is also designed at this stage.
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. (Li-Cycle) is a globally renowned lithium-ion battery recycling company co-founded by Ajay Kochhar and Tim Johnston—engineers with deep experience in minerals and mining.
Li-Cycle specializes in safe, sustainable, and economically viable battery recycling with the least environmental impact. The company also allows for the secure destruction of materials with IP-sensitive design information, such as R&D batteries.
In the words of Tim Johnston, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Li-Cycle, “Li-Cycle’s “future-proofed technology can recycle any battery chemistry economically.”
Certain processes used in EV battery recycling can release toxic gases, which can render recycling dangerous and less profitable. In contrast, Li-Cycle’s process does not require high temperatures and generates only low-level emissions from operations.
Li-Cycle uses patented “Spoke & Hub” technologies to mechanically process the worn-out batteries at “spokes” (decentralized facilities near the source of supply) before sending them to the “hubs” for further processing.
Consequently, 95% of the valuable battery materials are recovered and unneeded materials (like battery casings and plastic separators) are transported to other recyclers.
As a full-service LIB recycling company, Li-Cycle provides end-to-end services, including:
Closed-loop Resource Recovery
Li-Cycle’s Commercial Spokes ensure the safe processing of Li-ion batteries of all chemistries and formats without the risk of explosion or fire.
The mechanical process breaks down the batteries into inert materials and separates the resulting materials into two main product categories—battery materials (black mass) and mixed copper/aluminum.
Later, the black mass is run through the hydrometallurgical circuit at Li-Cycle’s Hub to produce individual metal sulphate and carbonate products with the required purity levels for cathode and precursor production.
Consequently, Li-Cycle effectively closes the loop between the end-of-life and manufacturing phases by re-inserting the Hub products back into the LIB supply chain.
Li-Cycle works closely with a reliable network of logistics partners to transport batteries from around the world to its facilities while adhering to regional- and international- level regulatory standards.
Li-Cycle’s knowledgeable team also helps customers understand documentation and packaging requirements.
Li-Cycle’s logistics management services include:
Reverse logistics and cross-border transport: Li-Cycle’s operations team facilitates battery shipments from customers to its facilities efficiently, including seamless transport across North America.
Damaged battery handling: Li-Cycle’s team has the expertise and experience needed to manage the storage and logistics of specialized containers required for large-format, high-voltage batteries.
Li-Cycle provides tailored solutions, including the following, for unique business needs:
Packaging and regulatory support: Li-Cycle’s operations team procures appropriate packaging and facilitates safe transportation of batteries while supporting customers with any questions on packaging requirements.
Forward logistics and spare battery storage: Li-Cycle offers forward logistics and climate-controlled storage solutions for high-voltage batteries used in various applications like EVs and energy storage.
Comprehensive battery replacement campaigns: Li-Cycle offers overall project management to roll out a replacement campaign across a network of customer outlets—from packaging and logistics to recycling.
Customized customer programs: Li-Cycle supports customers by jointly developing solutions to solve end-of-life battery problems.
Location: Montreal, Québec, Canada
Formerly known as “Lithion Recycling Inc.,” Lithion Technologies (Lithion) is a leading battery recycling company, which recovers Li-ion battery components and regenerates materials for use in new chargeable battery manufacturing.
Apart from recycling energy storage systems, Lithion processes all types (battery chemistries) of lithium-ion batteries, including LCO, LFP, LMO, NCA, NiMH, and NMC.
Unlike combustion or pyrometallurgy, Lithion uses hydrometallurgy as the battery recycling process to achieve the impressive rate of 95% of recycled battery components.
According to a press release, Lithion announced the construction of its first commercial critical minerals extraction plant in St-Bruno-de-Montarville (near Montreal), Canada.
The plant has an annual processing capacity of over 15,000 tons of lithium-ion batteries sourced from electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as non-conforming materials.
With the plant’s recycling capacity equivalent to 45,000+ electric vehicles, Lithion St-Bruno is a major milestone in the battery industry.
Commissioning for Lithion’s upcoming second facility is scheduled for 2026—the commercial hydrometallurgy plant is being planned to separate Lithion’s signature critical minerals concentrate for the production of battery-grade lithium, cobalt, and nickel.
Location: Carson City, Nevada, United States
Founded by JB Straubel (a Tesla co-founder and former CTO (Chief Technology Officer), Redwood Materials, Inc. (Redwood) is a prominent battery recycling and sustainable materials company.
Redwood focuses on the utilization of sustainable materials through the following processes to create a closed-loop, domestic supply chain for lithium-ion batteries:
By building a circular supply chain, Redwood is closing the loop for end-of-life batteries while reducing the cost, environmental impact, supply chain risks, as well as global reliance on mining.
Redwood states that its technology can help recover, on average, more than 95% of key battery elements, such as aluminum, cobalt, copper, graphite, and lithium in a lithium-ion battery. Once recovered, these materials go directly back into the supply chain to make batteries for energy storage products and EVs.
With a set production target of 500 GWh by 2030, the company aims to produce enough anode and cathode for five million EVs annually.
According to Redwood, it launched “the world’s first and most comprehensive electric vehicle battery recycling program” in California.
As part of this program, Redwood worked with partners, including Ford Motor Company, Toyota, Volkswagen Group of America, and Volvo Cars, and dismantlers to collect and recycle lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride (NiMH) vehicle batteries.
Redwood maintains collection locations across the U.S. for battery recycling.
Redwood also enables devices with batteries inside (phone, laptop, tablet, etc.) and loose lithium-ion batteries to be dropped off or shipped (following DOT (Department of Transportation) guidelines) through its consumer program.
In addition, Redwood has been instrumental in building partnerships and launching nationwide initiatives with non-profits, retail locations, and universities to educate communities about the important of battery recycling.
Location: Ohio, United States
Retriev Technologies, Inc. (Retriev is now part of “Cirba Solutions”) is an industry leader in battery management and recycling. Using a patented hydrometallurgical process, Retriev has been engaged in the safe and responsible recovery of essential materials necessary for LIB manufacturing.
Retriev is stated to have recycled “more than 50 million pounds of Li-ion batteries with six processing plants in Canada and the U.S.”
In June 2022, Battery Solutions, Heritage Battery Recycling, and Retriev Technologies (Retriev) merged to form “Cirba Solutions.” The merger is reported to have created “the largest recycler of batteries in North America” with 60 combined years of recycling experience.
According to Cirba Solutions, it is a “one-stop solution for ensuring more materials go back into the supply chain and stay out of a landfill.”
Cirba Solutions offers a single, specialized recycling process with cross-chemistry flexibility to help recover critical materials from lithium-ion batteries in the most sustainable way possible and support renewable energy goals on a global scale.
With expertise in electric car battery recycling, management, and handling, Cirba Solutions is uniquely positioned to provide a compliant and safe recycling experience—from setting up a first-class facility for disassembly to ensuring processing agility and full traceability for EV batteries.
Cirba Solutions’ EV battery recycling services include:
Battery identification and consulting
EV packaging for transport
Safe damaged lithium-ion battery packaging and transport
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Formerly known as “Union Minière,” Umicore N.V. (Umicore) is a globally leading circular materials technology company formed as a result of the merger of four mining and smelting companies.
Throughout the late 1990s, Union Minière increasingly positioned itself as a specialty materials company—focusing on advanced materials, high-margin zinc products, and precious metals.
Umicore focuses on three core sectors: Catalysis, Energy and Surface Technologies, and Recycling. Furthermore, Umicore aims to develop, produce, and recycle materials for sustainable value creation.
Umicore has been successfully running one of the most advanced battery recycling solutions at an industrial scale and strengthening its leadership position in clean mobility materials and recycling.
Umicore’s recycling operations involve treating complex waste streams containing precious and other non-ferrous metals and recovering metals from a variety of input materials, including end-of-life products and industrial residues.
End-of-life recycling also considerably helps in limiting the risk of shortages of precious battery materials.
Umicore is a pioneer in Li-ion battery recycling with its overall closed-loop philosophy focused on providing solutions to the growing demand for sustainably sourced materials.
According to an industry news source, Umicore initially uses a pyrometallurgical process involving smelting of battery materials above 1200°C followed by a hydrometallurgical process to separate and recover battery metals separately.
With a high recovery rate (up to 95%) of cobalt, lithium, and nickel from a variety of battery compositions, Umicore’s processes produce vital battery ingredients, which can be remanufactured into cathode materials.
In 2022, Umicore launched “Battery Recycling Solutions”—a new business unit based on proprietary metal extraction technologies developed by the company’s research and engineering teams. The 150,000-tonne battery recycling plant, reported to be “the biggest battery recycling plant in Europe,” is expected to be ready by 2026.
Through Umicore 2030 - RISE, Umicore aspires to be a true transformation partner for its customers by guiding them on their journey toward circularity and sustainability.
Are you looking for the most comprehensive analysis of the LIB recycling market?
Blackridge Research & Consulting’s Global Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Market report provides an in-depth regional market analysis, including current market trends, drivers, restraints, government policies and regulations, and market outlook.
The report consists of detailed profiles of major countries under the following regions:
North America – U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the rest of North America
Europe – Germany, France, UK, and the rest of Europe
Asia-Pacific – China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the rest of APAC
Rest of the World – The Middle Eas, South America, South Africa, and other African countries
In addition, the report offers deep insights into the competitive landscape and notable companies, as well as the strategies adopted by key industry players.
Furthermore, all report purchases come with up to 60 minutes of exclusive analyst access and post-purchase analyst support up to a year.
Battery recycling is pivotal to a circular economy—closed-loop battery recycling ensures continuous supply of necessary raw materials to cater to the high demand for battery metals.
Traditionally, the complex nature of lithium batteries made it challenging to recycle and recover the battery materials due to variations in pack designs and cathode composition.
A study commissioned by Ascend Elements—a U.S.-based engineered battery materials company—mentions a consumer misconception that “lithium-ion EV batteries cannot be recycled and are destined for landfills.”
However, recent battery designs are making it easier to disassemble and recycle lithium-ion batteries.
A used electric vehicle battery or a spent battery can have a second life when it is repurposed for other applications, such as home energy storage. Later, when the battery reaches the end of its second life, it goes to a battery recycler.
Battery pick-up services usually accept old lithium-ion batteries from individuals and deliver to battery recycling companies to streamline battery collection.
Typically, an end-of-life battery reaches a battery recycling facility where it is discharged for safety and dismantled before putting through an industrial shredder. Subsequently, mechanical treatment (involving crushing, vacuum drying, sieving, and milling) and material extraction are used for further processing.
Mechanically sorting a battery generates “black mass,” which contains cobalt, lithium, manganese, and nickel among other components depending on the battery construction.
The exponential growth of the EV market is a significant driver of battery recycling happening on an industrial scale. Economic incentives, limitations/restrictions on new mining, and regulatory push to obtain valuable battery materials are some of the other major drivers of battery recycling.
As the recycle rate for lithium is expected to go from 35% to 75% between 2026 and 2030, it will also create a significant obligation for battery manufacturers.
Lithium-ion battery recycling companies help recover crucial battery materials through cost-effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly processes and enable battery recycling for a sustainable future.