Ecopro to source recycled materials from Cirba for new cathodes

The US battery recycling provider Cirba Solutions and the South Korean battery material manufacturer Ecopro have agreed on a cooperation. Ecopro will use recycled materials from Cirba Solutions to manufacture cathode materials for new batteries.

Cirba Solutions, collects, dismantles and recycled used lithium-ion batteries into their component parts, and has preliminarily agreed to supply these recycled raw materials to EcoPro, who will use these to make precursor cathode active material (PCAM) and cathode active material (CAM) for new batteries.

The two companies have signed a letter of intent, without yet announcing specific quantities or the start of delivery. These details are likely to be the subject of further negotiations between the two companies.

Cirba Solutions, already has deals in place to collect used batteries from Toyota and General Motors, for example, which are then to be dismantled and reduced these down to their component raw materials in its new recycling plant in South Carolina. Cirba is investing 300 million dollars in the plant that is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2024. In the new deal with cathode materials manufacturer EcoPro, the South Korean company mentions the benefits of Cirba Solutions’ extensive logistics and collection networks for used batteries as well as its “diversified processing base” to dismantle and reduce these batteries as being an important aspect supporting the new alliance between the two companies.

Battery materials manufacturer EcoProEcopro recently received a major order worth the equivalent of around 30.9 billion euros for its NCA cathode active materials from the battery cell manufacturer Samsung SDI. Ecopro is aiming to produce 710,000 tons of cathodes by 2027, 180,000 tons of which will be produced in South Korea. The company is currently building its own plant in Hungary and another in Canada with SK On and Ford. EcoPro does not use exclusively recycled materials for its new batteries. The South Korean company also sources nickel from Indonesian mines, for example.

The new cooperation between Cirba and EcoPro is primarily aimed at the US market. Cirba Solutions notes in announcing the deal with EcoPro, that the US Inflation Reduction Act has been a catalyst for such alliances across the lithium-ion battery value chain.

Hoirim Jung, Business Strategy Office Leader, Managing Director at EcoPro noted in the announcement of the deal that Cirba’s “…experience in the market for premium recycled materials supports our growth into a closed-loop battery materials supply chain in North America.”

“Recycling is a vital component in the value chain and necessary for creating a robust and circular economy for electric vehicle batteries,” says Jay Wago, Chief Commercial Officer at Cirba Solutions. “Working with a world-renowned team like EcoPro supports the expansion of an interconnected battery supply chain.”


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