Koura signs supply deal with Ascend Elements
Ascend Elements will supply Koura with up to 5,000 tonnes of recycled lithium carbonate per year. Koura will use the recycled lithium carbonate in lithium-ion battery materials for the US and European markets, including lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6), a key electrolyte salt.
The supply agreement with Ascend Elements will allow Koura to produce enough material to support the production of more than one million electric vehicles per year, according to the release. However, the supply volume of up to 5,000 tonnes per year is the only indication of the agreement. The planned start of delivery and the agreed delivery period (or total quantity) are not mentioned.
Ascend Elements, based in Westborough, Massachusetts, has developed its own battery recycling process, which the company calls hydro-to-cathode. This is a direct precursor synthesis process that allows the black matter from recycled electric vehicle batteries to be processed directly into new cathode materials – without the usual intermediate step of hydrometallurgically splitting the black matter into individual materials to then produce new cathode materials.
As Ascend Elements’ first factory, called Apex 1, is not scheduled to come on stream in Kentucky until late 2023, so deliveries to Koura are unlikely to begin before 2024. Ascend Elements has already signed an agreement in principle with Honda, but there is no binding supply agreement there yet.
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Koura is a subsidiary of the chemical company Orbia, which specialises in fluorinated solutions. Orbia is active in the sectors of Polymer Solutions (Vestolit and Alphagary), Building and Infrastructure (Wavin), Precision Agriculture (Netafim), Connectivity Solutions (Dura-Line) and Fluorinated Solutions (Koura).
“Ascend Elements has been an ideal development partner for our Koura business, given our shared focus on renewable technologies and the massive opportunities for companies pioneering in batteries and energy storage,” said Sameer Bharadwaj, CEO of Orbia. “Our partnership with Ascend has accelerated our material innovation activities as we work to advance life around the world.”
“Koura is leading the industry’s efforts to incorporate recycled content into materials for lithium-ion batteries,” said Ascend Elements CEO Mike O’Kronley. “By recovering lithium and other critical metals from used lithium-ion batteries and manufacturing scrap, we are keeping those materials out of landfills while also making EV batteries cleaner and more sustainable.”
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