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We don’t sell black mass; we refine it with 98% efficiency to extract battery-grade materials: Nitin Gupta, Attero Recycling

Noida based Attero Recycling claims the world’s lowest capex for extracting lithium carbonate from end-of-life lithium-ion batteries. Nitin Gupta, CEO and co-founder of Attero answers our questions about the company’s current scale of operations and processes.

Attero currently operates a Lithium-ion battery recycling capacity of 15,000 metric tonnes. In line with its expansion strategy, we intend to establish additional recycling plants not only in India but also globally. Over the next four years, the company aims to achieve a global annual refining capacity of 300,000 metric tonnes of Li-ion batteries. This expansion includes dedicated capacities for the Indian market as well as for regions like the US and Europe.

Yes, all Lithium-ion recycling operations are consolidated at Attero’s Roorkee facility. This allows for streamlined operations and effective quality control measures throughout the recycling process.

No, Attero does not engage in exporting or supplying black mass to other companies. Instead, we focus on maximizing value from the recycling process by refining black mass into battery-grade materials for our clientele.

Attero’s buyer profile for Cobalt and Lithium Carbonate includes a range of organizations such as Li-ion battery manufacturers, EV manufacturers, and industries utilizing these materials. This diversified client base ensures a steady demand for our refined products across various sectors.

We stand out as the sole entity in India and one of the foremost global leaders in conducting complete processing and refinement of black mass. This process helps in extracting pure battery-grade cobalt, lithium carbonate, graphite, nickel, and other essential materials, achieving an impressive extraction rate exceeding 98%. This exceptional performance outshines competitors worldwide, who typically attain recovery efficiencies below 75%.

We employ a comprehensive mechanical and hydrometallurgical approach. Attero’s NASA-approved technology, backed by 45+ granted global patents and numerous applications, delivers remarkable efficiency with a high extraction rate.

At Attero, the lithium recycling process reduces GHG emissions by nearly 98% compared to the extraction of virgin metals. Our internal study reveals significant reductions in GHG emissions for key extracted materials, surpassing baseline emissions: graphite (63%), cobalt (57%), copper(67%), and lithium carbonate (98%).

  • Attero manages the collection of spent Li-ion batteries primarily through partnerships with battery OEMs and EV manufacturers, constituting a significant portion of our feedstock.
  • However, our expertise extends beyond Li-ion battery recycling to encompass e-waste recycling, where consumer electronics powered by Li-ion batteries also contribute to our feedstock.
  • Additionally, Li-ion batteries used in storage solutions, such as those in mobile towers, represent another significant source of feedstock for us.

This diversified approach ensures a steady and comprehensive supply of spent Li-ion batteries.

Attero boasts the world’s lowest capex for extracting lithium carbonate, which is just $3,200 per tonne. This figure is notably 40% cheaper than industry standards in the battery recycling sector. In comparison, the minimum capex for a conventional hydro process amounts to $5,500 per tonne, while for a pyro process, it skyrockets to $10,000 per tonne for other competitors.

Our cost-efficient approach highlights the commitment to driving down operational expenses while maintaining high-quality standards in lithium extraction.

Recycling end-of-life LFP batteries presents a viable economic opportunity for Attero and the industry as a whole. With increasing demand for lithium-based batteries in various applications, including electric vehicles and renewable energy storage, the recycling of LFP batteries can help mitigate resource scarcity and reduce environmental impact. Attero’s efficient processes and low capex further enhance the economic feasibility of LFP battery recycling, ensuring a sustainable approach to battery material supply chains.

Also read: Evolving input trends for end-of-life lithium-ion cells and its relevance for battery recycling

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