Renewable Metals strikes deal with UK recycling giant


The largest end-of-life vehicle recycler in the United Kingdom, European Metal Recycling (EMR) has announced plans to build a demonstration-scale electric vehicle (EV) battery recycling plant in Birmingham based on the innovations of Renewable Metals, which it now partly owns.

EMR recycles 10 million tonnes of waste annually, from drink cans to oil platforms, which are re-used, recycled and recovered into more than 200 grades of new and sustainable raw materials.

Renewable Metals specialises in EV battery shredding and critical minerals refining and has developed a recycling process that has fewer steps than existing recycling routes for lithium-ion batteries.

The Perth-based company uses an alkaline leaching process that eliminates the need to pre-process to black mass by crushing battery cells, claiming it delivers higher recovery rates without producing sodium sulfate and is better suited to handling the variability in chemistry of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries.

The two-stage process takes discharged battery modules, with the shredding and refining steps yielding London Metal Exchange (LME) grade nickel and copper, as well as cobalt, lithium, and manganese salts, all of which can go directly back into the battery supply chain.

Renewable Metals CEO Luan Atkinson.

Image: Energy Labs

Renewable Metals Chief Executive Officer Luan Atkinson said the EMR deal, which follows an $8 million seed round completed by Renewable Metals late last year, will help scale and commercialise the company’s technology.

“The company is excited to have the opportunity to demonstrate the cost and environmental advantages of its technology at a larger scale,” she said.

While the financial details of the deal remain confidential, EMR said it has acquired a “significant” stake in Renewable Metals and will now deploy the company’s technology as it seeks to further develop a lithium-ion battery recycling industry in the UK.

EMR Technology and Innovation Managing Director Roger Morton said Renewable Metals has a world-class reputation in the EV battery recycling field and the investment fits with the company’s global strategy to deliver more sustainable materials for the UK and European automotive industry.

“Renewable Metals’ technology is a highly cost-effective and scalable solution which fits into our broader long-term global strategy for this market, where we are actively developing multiple new collaborations,” he said.

EMR will commit end-of-life batteries to the demonstration scale plant, which is already permitted to handle the recycling of automotive battery packs.

The facility will process automotive, e-mobility (such as e-bikes and e-scooters), industrial, domestic, and portable lithium-ion batteries.

EMR said the technology used at the plant will deliver a lower carbon, more environmentally friendly solution for lithium-ion battery material recovery, significantly reducing the quantity of byproducts and consumption of chemicals used in their processing.

The new facility is expected to be operational in the first half of 2025.

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: