Automotive Transformation Fund

Altilium Clean Technology: Converting black mass to battery gold

Battery recycling is fundamental to the UK’s goal of securing an effective domestic supply chain for future UK EV production. Establishing a circular economy, that enables us to harvest, recycle, reuse and repurpose the critical materials required for battery production, is vital if we are to safeguard our automotive industry, the skilled jobs that it creates and allow the communities that depend on these large manufacturing sites to flourish.   

Although in its infancy, this is an industry with an exciting future ahead of it. On reaching end-of-life, batteries can be discharged, dismantled and shredded to produce black mass, a rich source of critical minerals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese. If profitably extracted and processed, we can derisk the UK’s battery supply chain and support the creation of a self-sustaining, globally competitive industry.  

In 2022, Altilium Clean Technology, a leading company operating in this space, secured funding, delivered through our own Automotive Transformation Fund, to advance it’s game-changing, proprietary recycling technology. Using hydrometallurgical extraction Altilium is able to recover over 95% of the critical metals found in black mass to produce battery-ready cathode active material (CAM). In just 18 months, this funding enabled Altilium to transform an empty unit into an operational scale-up pilot-line for mineral processing and establish an EV Battery Technology Centre in Devon.  

Altilium is currently the only company in the UK recovering cathode metals, including lithium, from waste EV batteries to upcycle to high nickel (CAM) for new battery manufacturing. What’s more its proprietary EcoCathode™ hydrometallurgical process is capable of reducing the carbon in CAM by 50% compared to virgin materials, and also provides a cost saving of around 20%. 

Watch our case study to find out more.