Lithium battery recycler wins Supercharge Australia Award

Renewable Metals CEO Luan Atkinson receives Supercharge Innovation Challenge Award WINNER from Energy Labs CEO Megan Fisher & New Energy Nexus Danny Kennedy
Renewable Metals CEO Luan Atkinson receives Supercharge Innovation Challenge Award from Energy Labs CEO Megan Fisher & New Energy Nexus Danny Kennedy

Perth-based lithium battery recycler Renewable Metals has won the inaugural Supercharge Australia Innovation Challenge Award with its unique technology that turns battery waste into battery metals.

The Renewable Metals process achieves more than 95% recovery of the valuable materials in lithium batteries including lithium, nickel, cobalt, copper, manganese and graphite, without creating black mass and saving 20-30% of the costs of standard recycling.

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“Renewable Metals’ unique alkali-based process recovers nearly all the lithium and other metals with minimal chemical by-products and 65% fewer emissions than mining,” Renewable Metals CEO Luan Atkinson said.

“Other metals recycling processing use 1.2 tonnes of acid for every tonne of battery waste, creating 1.5 tonnes of sodium sulfate (salt).” 

The company is considered world-leading by New Energy Nexus CEO and Managing Director of the California Clean Energy Fund, Danny Kennedy, who said, “I’ve seen billion-dollar battery recycling start-ups in the United States emerging in the last few years and none have technology as exciting as this.”

Sicona came second with a University of Wollongong-developed technology to produce next-gen battery materials technology used in the anodes of lithium-ion batteries for electric-mobility and storage of renewable energy. 

Roev, came third—they convert large fleets of utes to electric, solving unmet demand and managing energy usage. Every converted ute has the potential to reduce C02 emissions by over 100 tonnes through its usable lifespan.

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Fourth-place getter is Brisbane-based Vaulta, who make recyclable and repairable high-performance batteries. Vaulta’s batteries are designed, assembled and tested at their manufacturing facility in Brisbane’s inner north.

Despite producing almost 60% of the world’s lithium, Australia retains less than 1% of the US$400 billion and rising annual product value. Ninety-eight percent of the lithium mined in Australia is refined overseas.

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