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Pure Battery Technologies gains European backer

Manufacturing News

Battery cathode materials producer Pure Battery Technologies has secured Europe’s biggest cleantech investor EIT Innoenergy as an investor, with the new backing to expand PBT’s European production and further develop plans for a materials hub in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

The Brisbane company has an existing refinery in Hagen, Germany and is developing a cathode active materials and precursors (PCAM) hub in WA.

By 2023 the Hagen refinery will be producing 10,000t of pCAM with nickel, manganese and cobalt (NMC) chemistry, which is the volume required to make batteries for around 120,000 VW ID.3-type electric vehicles.

PBT is aiming for global production of 250,000 tonnes by 2027 and needs investments in the range of EUR 600 to 900 million to achieve that aim.

EIT, which has made a seven-figure investment, is the driving force behind the European Battery Alliance and brings with it connections in the sector which will help PBT with its goal.

EIT InnoEnergy is an early investor in Swedish battery maker Northvolt and Australian green lithium producer Vulcan Energy Resources.

CEO of the PBT Group Björn Zikarsky said: “We’re incredibly proud to have this strategic partnership with EIT InnoEnergy and it’s a real seal of approval for us.

“Our common aim is to manufacture the most sustainable and powerful batteries in Europe from our own resources and PBT is a key contributor to achieving that objective.

“Our technology closes the gap and creates a cyclical material supply chain in the battery sector. Our focus markets are Europe in General and Germany in particular.”

PBT said in a statement it had an environmentally superior processing technology for the production of EV battery cathode materials which it was deploying at Hagen.

PBT’s patented processing technology makes it possible to produce pCAM cost efficiently with a low level of emissions. The Selective Acid Leaching (SAL) process is used for the production of NMC cathode material (a mix of naturally occurring nickel, manganese and cobalt).

The Combined Leaching (CL) process is used for the production of new pCAM and for industrial battery waste (black mass) recycling.

The main difference between these and conventional processes is their simplicity. They use chemical filtering rather than vast amounts of chemicals, heat and pressure to separate the materials and then combine them again in the required mix ratio, according to PBT.

Picture: Pure Battery Technologies/German plant

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