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UK companies Altilium and Talga Collaborate on sustainable graphite supply for EV batteries

Altilium and Talga, two leading companies in the UK, have joined forces in a significant partnership aimed at establishing a sustainable domestic source of graphite for the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) battery industry. This collaboration underscores their shared commitment to providing automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and battery manufacturers with environmentally friendly battery materials.

Graphite plays a crucial role in lithium-ion batteries, constituting up to 50% of a battery’s volume. Altilium’s innovative recycling process can recover over 99% of graphite from end-of-life EV batteries, enabling these valuable resources to be reintroduced into the supply chain. Meanwhile, Talga’s green anode production technology significantly reduces CO2 emissions during EV manufacturing.

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The partnership between Altilium and Talga aims to optimize the recovery of graphite from battery waste to produce high-quality battery-grade graphite for use in new anodes.

Until recently, graphite recycling has been overlooked, with a focus on reclaiming cathode metals from battery scrap. However, with an anticipated shortfall in graphite supply and China imposing export controls, achieving self-sufficiency in graphite production is crucial for the UK to meet the demands of emerging green industries.

Forecasts by the Advanced Propulsion Centre indicate that UK demand for graphite in anodes is expected to increase substantially. Altilium’s planned recycling plant in Teesside will have the capacity to recover 20,000 metric tons of graphite annually by 2030, meeting over 20% of the UK’s demand.

Altilium is already recovering critical battery metals like lithium to produce cathode active materials for direct reuse in the battery supply chain. With the addition of graphite recycling, the company aims to achieve full battery circularity by recycling all battery components.

Under the agreement, Altilium will supply Talga with graphite recovered from EV battery waste at its Battery Recycling Technology Centre. Talga will utilize its chemical purification methods to produce high-purity graphite for new anode materials and conduct testing to ensure compatibility with battery manufacturing processes.

Moreover, Altilium is part of a £30 million collaborative project led by Nissan and backed by the Advanced Propulsion Centre. This initiative involves processing waste from Nissan Leaf batteries to recover graphite and upcycle cathode metals for use in new batteries, further contributing to the sustainability of EV manufacturing.

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