OnTo Technology launches Cathode-Healing for Recycling and Manufacturing of Lithium-ion Batteries

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

November 2, 2021

OnTo Technology, a leading developer in lithium-ion sustainable technologies, has launched a project to recycle end-of-life batteries from industrial sources in California.

The recovered materials – processed using OnTo’s patented Cathode-healing™ direct recycling technology – will be used to produce new lithium-ion batteries. This will be the first true closed loop system for lithium-ion manufacturing in the U.S., where new batteries will be produced using domestically sourced recycled material.

The demonstration project received a $1 million grant from the California Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program. EPIC is California’s premier clean energy research program.

“We are proud to support this innovative project, which provides a low-cost and efficient method to recover electrode and other materials from used batteries,” said CEC Chair David Hochschild. “Increasing the recycled content in new batteries can reduce the cost of batteries used in electric vehicles and for energy storage. That is a win for the consumer, and it will help California advance its nation-leading climate, air quality, and energy goals.”

Production of end-of-life large-format lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles and energy storage is expected to increase significantly through the decade. Establishing high-value recycling pathways is foundational for the environmental and economic sustainability of the lithium-ion industry. OnTo’s direct recycling, cathode-healing approach has inherent efficiencies to enable sustainability.

In the direct cathode recycling process, the active cathode material is cleanly harvested from scrap without energy intensive pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical refining processes typically used to separate and recover critical metals such as nickel and cobalt. OnTo’s patented Cathode-healing™ process is used to rejuvenate the cathode material particles which can then be re-used to manufacture new batteries. The overall impact of direct cathode recycling significantly increases efficiency, reducing cost and the carbon footprint of the lithium-ion battery lifecycle.

“We are happy to be working with the California Energy Commission and partners to deliver the potential of direct cathode recycling,” said Dr Lauren Crandon, Project Director for OnTo Technology. “I’m confident this project will progress the compelling commercial proposition of OnTo’s direct recycling for closed-loop recycling.”

For further information please contact: OnTo Technology: Steven Sloop

OnTo Technology LLC offers advanced battery recycling solutions to reduce cost and improve safety for the lithium-ion battery industry. OnTo's patent portfolio includes whole battery deactivation, sorting, harvesting of electrode materials, cathode-healing™ and clean precursors for new cathodes. OnTo’s scientific and engineering team has world leading experience in the breadth and depth of battery chemistries, applications, failure mechanisms, end-of-life issues, as well as chemistry development and battery prototyping. OnTo is ready to integrate advanced battery recycling with industrial partners working to improve safety and sustainability (both environmental and economic) of advanced batteries.

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California Energy Commission: The California Energy Commission is leading the State of California to a 100 percent clean energy future for all. As the state's primary energy policy and planning agency, the Energy Commission plays a critical role in creating the energy system of the future - one that is clean, is modern, and ensures the fifth largest economy in the world continues to thrive. Established in 1975 by the Warren‐Alquist Act to respond to the energy crisis of the early 1970s, the agency’s research, programs and policies remain crucial today as California plans for 100% clean energy and carbon neutrality by mid-century.

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Congratulations to LBNL workers for their R&D100 award, OnTo is a proud industry partner with this innovation. OnTo invented direct recycling and developed the process over the past 20 years to addres