Ontario company produces lithium ingots from scrap

Li-Metal Corp., a developer of lithium metal anode and lithium metal production technologies has produced and shipped its first batch of lithium metal ingots.

Li-Metal’s lithium ingot, produced in Markham, Ontario.

The lithium metal ingots were produced at Li-Metal’s recently commissioned lithium metal reprocessing and casting facility in Markham, Ontario, which has the capacity to process up to 15 metric tonnes of anode scrap material per year.

Traditional extrusion processes require the lithium metal to be supplied in ingot form. On average, production scrap generated by gigafactories can have up to a 30% metal scrap rate. Lithium metal ingot manufacturing scraps are currently designated as hazardous waste and typically incinerated, losing critical battery materials in the process.

To enhance the sustainability of lithium metal anodes and to overcome the need to incinerate scrap lithium metal, Li-Metal developed a new reprocessing and casting technology. The company’s technology reprocesses the scrap lithium into ingots that may be used for anode production.

The lithium metal ingot, a large solid block of metal, was produced using lithium material from production scrap from lithium foil producers.

Li-Metal is evaluating scrap samples from multiple partners to scale capacity. Li-Metal expects to eventually leverage the pilot facility and know-how generated during the scale up of the reprocessing facility to help its potential partners produce high-purity specialty lithium-alloy ingots for advanced battery producers.

“We are thrilled to produce our first batch of lithium metal ingots using our reprocessing and casting technology and commission our new facility in Markham,” said Srini Godavarthy, CEO of Li-Metal.

“The ability to produce lithium metal products is a key differentiator for Li-Metal’s positioning in the next-generation battery ecosystem, further enabling the growth and development of our business. This is an important milestone in our roadmap as we advance our technologies and plan to become a leading vertically integrated and domestic supplier of lithium metal and high-performance anode materials.”

Earlier this year, Li-Metal successfully produced its first lithium metal product using its patented carbonate to metal (C2M) technology at its lithium metal pilot facility in Markham, Ontario. The company’s C2M technology is designed to produce high-quality lithium metal ingots with the lowest environmental footprint globally. The additional capabilities to produce lithium metal ingots from scrap allows for diversity of raw material supply, which is critical as the Company continues to advance its C2M metal technology and its ultra-thin lithium metal anodes platform.

Conventional lithium-ion batteries, while widely used, face critical challenges including limited energy density, slow charging, capacity fade and safety concerns that hinder their ability to meet the evolving demands of our modern world. To overcome these challenges next-generation battery technologies that replace graphite anodes with lithium metal are being developed.

The scale up of these technologies by 2028-2030 is expected to deliver compact and high-capacity power sources that could unlock new markets, including electric aviation and eVTOLs, in addition to mitigating electric vehicle range anxiety and making them more cost efficient.

In line with the scale up, Li-Metal is advancing its vertically integrated lithium metal and anode technology platform to produce ultra-thin, high-performance lithium metal anodes to help enable the commercialization of next-generation battery technologies.