Li-Cycle—A Case Study in Integrated Process Development
The resource recovery market has significant interest in new process development. One reason is that valuable materials for hi-tech applications are now present in sufficient quantities to warrant recycling efforts. Another is due to broad efforts on environment such as green chemistry and urban mining. However, many of these projects end in early development due to a lack of up-front integration on a broad range of issues such as experimental work, techno-economics, supply/demand, safety, regulatory landscape, and product quality. Using Li-Cycle, a Canadian lithium battery recycling company now engaged in process piloting, and as an example, this paper discusses the key barriers that companies developing new chemical or metallurgical processes face and how they can be overcome through an integrated approach. In the integrated approach, economic and market analyses commence as soon as possible in the project’s life. These are used to establish a clear process/project scope, define specifications for the process products, identify the key cost drivers to appropriately focus technical work, and ultimately provide an objective, effective, and efficient method to evaluate the merits of the project.
KeywordsLithium Battery recycling Process development
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