Singapore-based Green Li-ion has completed an $11.5 million seed round backed by multiple investment funds, according to its co-founder and CEO Leon Farrant. The level of funding exceeds the target of $10 million announced in February.
The company designs and produces systems for recycling lithium-ion and alternative batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs), smartphones and other electronic devices. It’s progressing to installations in the US, Singapore, UK and other countries and now has its eye on Europe, Farrant says.
Farrant says several investors participated in the recently completed funding round, including London-based Energy Revolution Ventures; EDP Group based in Portugal; GS Holdings, based in South Korea; TriRec Co., based in Singapore; and Houston-based MB Energy Partners.
Houston is also the location of an ongoing Green Li-ion installation. This system will accept black mass (mixed metals and ground battery sulfates) from LiNiCo Corp. in Nevada and upgrade it to battery-grade materials and other marketable materials.
In addition to the Houston system, the company’s facilities in Asia are being developed to use technology developed by Green Li-ion to accept a wider variety of dark mass (including LFP or lithium iron phosphate batteries EV) to produce marketable materials.
The new systems bear the name GLMC-2, with both this and the original GLMC-1 technology developed by a team led by Farrant co-founder and Chief Green Li-ion Technology Officer, Dr. Reza Katal. Farrant says the company branded the term “hydro-rejuvenation” to describe the technology, which is an adaptation of its original hydrometallurgical process.
Farrant cites the development of this technology as one of two “key pillars” where new funding will be targeted. The other, he says, is to establish a presence in Europe, where the production of electric vehicles and batteries is increasing, which means that investments in battery recycling and black mass processing exist and other will follow.
In Europe and beyond, Farrant says Green Li-ion is poised to serve the growing battery recycling and black ground sector. “We have always focused on closing the loop and creating circular economies for batteries,” he comments.
He says that while much of the recycling industry’s initial interest in Green Li-ion technology was focused on recovering nickel and cobalt from NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) batteries, there was also a pivot. unmistakable towards the use of LFP batteries in Asia. “Customers are showing interest in both the GLMC-1/2 and GLLFP-1 systems, and potentially have both, because they need both,” Farrant says. “They can see a tidal wave of LFP EV batteries coming, which they didn’t know what to do with before GLLFP-1.”
According to Farrant, the continued need for both systems is likely, particularly if some EV producers stick with NMC batteries for performance reasons, while others turn to LFP for cost-efficiency reasons. Just as diesel engines have coexisted with gasoline engines for decades, Farrant says the likely outcome is that “the world needs both.”
Comments Hayden Sommer of funding round investor Energy Revolution Ventures: “We are delighted to support Green Li-ion as a lead investor in its successful fundraising. The company’s recycling technology and its ability to be installed and operated in a modular processing plant is transformative and highly scalable. This offers manufacturers the opportunity to build these modular factories near a source of battery-grade material production, making on-site battery material recycling both inexpensive and highly sustainable.