EcoGraf makes headway with EV battery recycling trial

EcoGraf makes headway with EV battery recycling trial

A Perth-based company is leading the charge with its new solution to support the budding electric vehicle (EV) industry, with the help of a proprietary technology that purifies a key component used in lithium-ion batteries.

EcoGraf (ASX: EGR) has announced it successfully trialled its graphite purification technology to recycle lithium-ion battery anode material in Germany.

Its process increased the carbon purity of the recycled material by more than 200 per cent, while the carbon content achieved was more than 99 per cent.

This could mean good news for making better use of existing resources of graphite, a material that makes up around half the total mass of a standard battery. 

EcoGraf, which changed its name from Kibaran Resources in December 2019, says the successful trial "represents a major step forward to support electric vehicle and battery manufacturers achieve sustainable, closed-loop manufacturing processes".

"These results confirm the effectiveness of the EcoGraf process for use in a range of purification applications, delivering a powerful and cost-effective solution for customers in a new high growth global market," the company says.

EcoGraf is working towards building a purification facility south of Perth, which it claims would be the first of its kind outside of China.

"Electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery manufacturers are moving rapidly to establish recycling opportunities that will improve the sustainability of their supply chains and the Company is evaluating the potential to commercialise this opportunity as it proceeds to develop the new EcoGraf purification facility in Kwinana, Western Australia," the group says.

"Following a review of the Company's proposed plant in Kwinana, Australian Government Agency Export Finance Australia has confirmed that subject to completing a detailed assessment of the project, it will consider the provision of debt finance for the new US$72 million development.

"A detailed financial model has been prepared for the Kwinana funding process that incorporates proposed terms for a US$35 million debt funding package, representing approximately 50% of the total construction cost."

EcoGraf is named after the company's proprietary process that received an international patent in December 2018. The company is also listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the ticker FMK, and has a graphite operation in Tanzania.

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