REWAS 2019 pp 247-260 | Cite as

Li-Cycle—A Case Study in Integrated Process Development

  • Boyd DavisEmail author
  • Kevin Watson
  • Alain Roy
  • Ajay Kochhar
  • Darcy Tait
Conference paper
Part of the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series book series (MMMS)


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.


Lithium Battery recycling Process development 


  1. 1.
    Giurco D, Prior T, Mudd G, Mason L, Behrisch J (2010) Peak minerals in Australia: a review of changing impacts and benefits. Prepared for CSIRO Minerals Down Under Flagship. Accessed 10 Sept 2018
  2. 2.
    European Commission (2018) Report on critical raw materials and the circular economy. Accessed 10 Sept 2018
  3. 3.
    Ford GS, Koutsky TM, Spiwak LJ (2007) An economic investigation of the valley of death in the innovation sequence, Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies. Accessed 10 Sept 2018
  4. 4.
    Nitta N, Wu F, Lee JT, Yushin G (2015) Li-ion battery materials: present and future. Accessed 10 Sept 2018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lithium Collect (2018). Accessed 10 Sept 2018
  6. 6.
    Diekmann J, Hanisch C, Frobose L, Schalicke G, Loellhoeffel T, Folster AS, Kwade A (2017) Ecological recycling of lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles with focus on mechanical processes. J Electrochem Soc 168(1):A6184–A6191CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boyd Davis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kevin Watson
    • 1
  • Alain Roy
    • 1
  • Ajay Kochhar
    • 2
  • Darcy Tait
    • 2
  1. 1.Kingston Process Metallurgy Inc.KingstonCanada
  2. 2.Li-CycleMississaugaCanada

Personalised recommendations