October 18, 2023

4 Min Read
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Ascend Elements

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. Ascend Elements, a U.S.-based manufacturer of sustainable battery materials, and Orbia’s Fluorinated Solutions business, Koura, one of the world’s largest producers of fluoroproducts and technologies, today agreed to explore joint commercialization of the patented Hydro-to-Anode® graphite recycling technology and discuss plans to build an advanced graphite recycling facility in the United States. Unveiled in February 2022, the Hydro-to-Anode® technology produces 99.9% pure graphite from end-of-life lithium-ion batteries and battery manufacturing scrap. Commercialization of the innovative technology will provide a new source of battery-grade anode materials for North America’s fast-growing electric vehicle battery industry.

Until now, Ascend Elements has focused on producing engineered cathode materials from recycled lithium-ion batteries, primarily cathode precursor (pCAM) and cathode active materials (CAM). The ability to recover graphite for use in batteries improves the economics of battery recycling and further minimizes the need for mining. Additionally, graphite processed in the United States is compliant with Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) requirements for electric vehicles to qualify for the 30D tax credit.

“We’re rethinking the way we use the planet’s resources and reaching higher to recover the maximum value in used lithium-ion batteries,” said Mike O’Kronley, CEO of Ascend Elements. “Graphite recycling is nothing new, but traditional graphite recycling methods do not produce a battery-grade product. The graphite recovered in most battery recycling processes is typically of a lower purity and must be used in non-battery applications. Our Hydro-to-Anode® process can produce 99.9% pure graphite, which even exceeds battery-grade requirements. It’s a game changer for the industry.”

“Orbia is continuing efforts to establish a sustainable North America supply chain of critical battery materials. We have been developing technology for graphite purification and believe our joint collaboration with Ascend Elements will accelerate the adoption of recycled graphite anodes,” said Miki Oljaca, Vice President of Growth and Technology, Orbia Fluorinated Solutions (Koura).

Ascend Elements and Orbia Koura are currently in discussions to supply IRA-compliant, battery-grade graphite to several electric vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and battery manufacturers. The companies have not yet disclosed a location or timeline for construction of the new facility.

About Ascend Elements
Based in Westborough, Mass., Ascend Elements is the leading provider of sustainable, closed-loop battery materials solutions. From EV battery recycling to commercial-scale production of lithium-ion battery precursor (pCAM) and cathode active materials (CAM), Ascend Elements is revolutionizing the production of sustainable lithium-ion battery materials. Its proprietary Hydro-to-Cathode® direct precursor synthesis technology produces new pCAM from spent lithium-ion cells more efficiently than traditional methods, resulting in reduced cost, improved performance, and lowered GHG emissions. With fewer batteries going to landfill and a cleaner manufacturing process, Ascend Elements is taking the lithium-ion battery industry to a higher level of sustainability.

About Orbia
Orbia is a company driven by a shared purpose: to advance life around the world. Orbia operates in the Polymer Solutions (Vestolit and Alphagary), Building and Infrastructure (Wavin), Precision Agriculture (Netafim), Connectivity Solutions (Dura-Line) and Fluorinated Solutions (Koura) sectors. The five Orbia business groups have a collective focus on expanding access to health and well-being, reinventing the future of cities and homes, ensuring food, water, and sanitation security, connecting communities to information and enabling the energy transition with basic and advanced materials, specialty products and innovative solutions. Orbia has a global team of over 24,000 employees, commercial activities in more than 100 countries and operations in over 50, with global headquarters in Boston, Mexico City, Amsterdam, and Tel Aviv. The company generated $9.6 billion in revenue in 2022.

About Orbia Fluorinated Solutions (Koura)
Orbia’s Fluorinated Solutions business, Koura, is a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of fluoroproducts that play a fundamental role in enhancing everyday lives and shortening the path to a sustainable, circular economy. Backed by over 35 years of experience, Orbia Koura’s products are used in a vast range of applications including electric vehicles and energy storage, urban and rural infrastructure, indoor climate management, food, and medicine refrigeration and even in treating respiratory conditions through the development of healthy and innovative low-GWP propellants for metered-dose inhalers. Orbia Koura has 1,600 employees and 13 manufacturing facilities worldwide, serving 60 countries through a global sales and distribution network.

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