- Battery Resourcers is a closed loop battery recycling company that specializes in recovering cathodes from multiple lithium ion battery chemistries
- BR’s proprietary recycling technology dramatically reduces the cost of electric vehicles and energy storage devices, and keeps batteries out of landfills
- TDK Corporation will leverage its extensive expertise in materials science, passive components, batteries, power supplies, sensors and large scale manufacturing to accelerate Battery Resourcers success
TDK Corporation (TSE: 6762) announced today that subsidiary TDK Ventures Inc. invested in Battery Resourcers (BR), a developer of lithium ion battery recycling technology to directly recover cathodes. BR offers improved process technology for a sustainable, closed-loop battery cathode supply chain, that dramatically reduces the cost of electric vehicles and energy storage devices and keeps battery waste out of landfills. Compared to production of virgin cathodes, BR’s material process saves up to 35% in costs, generates 20% less emissions, and recovers >97% of metals by weight and >70% by value.
Lithium ion batteries consist of multiple modules, which can be broken down into their basic building blocks called “electrochemical cells,” often constructed by sandwiching anodes and cathodes between an electrolyte, which serves as the conducting medium for the electron flow in the electrical circuit. Cathodes are made by carefully concocting a mixture of lithium, nickel, cobalt, and manganese, while anodes are often made of graphite. Sourcing these materials presents a critical supply chain problem, especially nickel and cobalt, which are expensive and experience volatile pricing due to unsustainable mining practices.
Recycling of critical battery materials reduces costs and drastically improves sustainability, but traditional lithium ion battery recycling processes split the entire cell into its respective constituent elements. BR’s proprietary methodology takes a spent battery and rebuilds a full EV battery-grade cathode, which is fundamentally a unique value proposition for a cell maker or an EV car company building its own manufacturing value chains to reduce costs.
“BR is committed to changing the dynamics for processing end of life lithium ion batteries. Our technology incorporates the best of hydrometallurgical and direct recycling process that gives us an advantage to capture more than 95% of the weight of the batteries,” said Mike O’Kronley, CEO of Battery Resourcers. “The beauty of our proprietary co-precipitation process is that we accept a mixed input of battery material chemistries from consumer electronics, electric vehicles, and even grid-scale energy storage lithium ion devices to produce a defined premium grade cathode output. We anticipate strategic growth now backed by TDK Ventures, along with Orbia Ventures.”
Other investors in the syndicate include Orbia Ventures, At One Ventures, Trumpf Ventures, Doral Energy-Tech Ventures, Tsingyuan Ventures, MassVentures, and Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures.
“With the push toward major auto electrification in President Biden’s administration, the United States might follow Europe’s recent decree that all litium ion batteries must contain a certain quantity of recycled materials by 2025,” said Nicolas Sauvage, Managing Director of TDK Ventures. “BR’s fundamental strategic advantage is that they are moving up the value chain by creating a product that cellmakers and EV OEMs want while being significantly more environmentally friendly.”
Sherwin Prior, Partner at Orbia Ventures who led the investment round said, “We have worked with BR on several joint development projects and were impressed by the depth of their technical and application knowledge around battery recycling. We think that BR’s concept of conversion of recycled materials into high quality cathodes has tremendous value and represents unique opportunity to establish cathode supply chain in North America.” Orbia has a specialty chemicals unit called Koura, which produces battery electrolytes for electric vehicles.
BR presently operates from Worcester, MA with Series B financing. Plans include the building of a commercial scale shredding facility increasing the ability to process over 10,000 tons per year of lithium ion battery feedstock that can power over 20,000 EVs per year.
TDK Ventures invests globally in early-stage startups that leverage fundamental materials science to unlock an attractive and sustainable future for the world. TDK Ventures’ goal is to help every startup we invest in to achieve their full potential for positive world impact. Signaling a return on investment in materials science startups in 2020, 3 companies TDK Ventures invested in have gone public or been acquired. To find out more about TDK Ventures, interested startups or investment partners may contact TDK Ventures: www.tdk-ventures.com or
About TDK Corporation
TDK Corporation is a world leader in electronic solutions for the smart society based in Tokyo, Japan. Built on a foundation of material sciences mastery, TDK welcomes societal transformation by resolutely remaining at the forefront of technological evolution and deliberately “Attracting Tomorrow.” It was established in 1935 to commercialize ferrite, a key material in electronic and magnetic products. TDK’s comprehensive, innovation-driven portfolio features passive components such as ceramic, aluminum electrolytic and film capacitors, as well as magnetics, high-frequency, and piezo and protection devices. The product spectrum also includes sensors and sensor systems such as temperature and pressure, magnetic, and MEMS sensors. In addition, TDK provides power supplies and energy devices, magnetic heads and more. These products are marketed under the product brands TDK, EPCOS, InvenSense, Micronas, Tronics and TDK-Lambda. TDK focuses on demanding markets in automotive, industrial and consumer electronics, and information and communication technology. The company has a network of design and manufacturing locations and sales offices in Asia, Europe, and in North and South America. In fiscal 2020, TDK posted total sales of USD 12.5 billion and employed about 107,000 people worldwide
About TDK Ventures
TDK Ventures Inc. invests in startups to bolster innovation in materials science, energy/power and related areas typically underrepresented in venture capital portfolios. Established in 2019 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TDK Corporation, the corporate venture company’s vision is to propel the digital and energy transformations of segments such as health and wellness, next-generation transportation, robotics and industrial, mixed reality and the wider IoT/IIoT markets. TDK Ventures will co-invest and support promising portfolio companies by providing technical expertise and access to global markets where TDK operates. Interested startups or investment partners may contact TDK Ventures: www.tdk-ventures.com or .
About Battery Resourcers
Battery Resourcers was founded in 2015, headquartered in Worcester, MA focused on direct cathode recycling for lithium ion batteries. Compared to production of virgin cathode, BR’s material is up to 35% cheaper and generates 20% less emissions. BR’s process recovers >97% of metals by weight and >70% by value, both best in the industry. BR’s technology has been under development since 2015, producing new cathode material from spent Li-ion batteries and scrap Li-ion manufacturing material. BR’s ultimate plan is to build a hub and spoke model of shredding and cathode manufacturing in the North America and Europe to produce sustainable cathodes.