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PBT’s boost to make battery cathode active materials

Manufacturing News

The European Investment Bank (EIB), backed by the InvestEU programme, is granting a €36.7 million loan to Königswarter & Ebell, a German subsidiary of Australian Battery cathode materials producer Pure Battery Technologies (PBT).

The project involves construction of a commercial demonstration plant at a brownfield industrial site owned by Königswarter & Ebell in Hagen, Germany for the manufacture of precursor cathode active material (pCAM).

pCAM is used in the production of advanced lithium-ion cells with nickel, manganese and cobalt (NMC) chemistry.

The Brisbane company is simultaneously developing $460 million Midstream refinery hub in Western Australian as part of plans to increase global production to 250,000 tonnes of pCAM materials by 2027.

The Kalgoorlie plant is being built in partnership with Poseidon Nickel and will initially produce 50,000tpa of pCAM material per year – enough to produce around 500,000 lithium-ion EV batteries.

The CEO of PBT Bjorn Zikarsky said the EIB loan was an important confirmation that Europe’s business and investment community could see the value of PBT’s simple, smart and clean technology.

Zikarsky said: “We are bringing important technology to market and provide a solution for electric vehicle manufacturers wanting cleaner battery materials for their cars.

“I am excited the EIB sees the potential of our technology for the industry and the European Union as a whole.”

The two projects rely on an environmentally friendly processing technology developed at the University of Queensland.

Its patented processing technology NMC Direct approach utilises PBT’s Selective Acid Leaching and Combined Leach processes for the production of NMC precursor cathode material.

The PBT process can use recycled battery material known as black mass as feedstock, thus reducing the need for primary nickel, manganese and cobalt, in line with the European Union’s circular economy approach.

In the near future, larger volumes of end-of-life and off-spec batteries will become available following an increased uptake of electric vehicles and the expanding battery manufacturing industry.

The EIB financing comes in the form of a venture debt loan, supported by the InvestEU Green Transition programme.

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Picture: Pure Battery Technologies

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