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Ascend Elements to Supply Sustainable Cathode Precursor (pCAM) Made from Recycled Battery Materials to Major U.S. Customer

Using an innovative battery recycling process and a patented cathode engineering technology, Ascend Elements is about to become the top domestic supplier of sustainable, engineered battery materials – specifically high-nickel, NMC cathode precursor (pCAM) – to North America’s fast-growing lithium-ion battery industry.

Ascend Elements recently signed a multi-year contract to supply up to $5 billion of sustainable pCAM to a U.S. customer.

Ascend Elements recently signed a multi-year contract to supply approximately $1 billion worth of sustainable pCAM for use in a major U.S. company’s battery manufacturing process, beginning in Q4 2024. Under the terms of the agreement, the customer has the option to expand the contract to a larger quantity with a value of up to $5 billion.

The deal signals a shift in worldwide battery material supply chains as Ascend Elements builds one of North America’s first commercial-scale NMC pCAM manufacturing facilities in southwest Kentucky.

“Nearly 100% of the world’s pCAM is produced in Asia,” said Mike O’Kronley, CEO of Ascend Elements. “There is no reason we can’t manufacture critical battery materials like this in the United States. In fact, we need to manufacture our own battery materials to secure the supply chain in North America, reduce carbon emissions and ensure our energy independence.”

The Ascend Elements facility in Hopkinsville, Kentucky will be a one-of-a-kind, sustainable cathode manufacturing facility with capacity to produce NMC pCAM for up to 750,000 electric vehicles per year. In October 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded two matching grants totaling $480 million to Ascend Elements to help accelerate construction of the southwest Kentucky facility. Overall, the company plans to invest more than $1 billion in the facility.

Ascend Elements uses a patented process known as Hydro-to-Cathode® direct precursor synthesis to manufacture NMC pCAM and cathode active material (CAM) recovered from used lithium-ion batteries and battery gigafactory manufacturing scrap. The closed-loop process eliminates several intermediary steps in the traditional cathode manufacturing process and provides significant economic and carbon-reduction benefits. Several peer-reviewed studies  have shown Ascend Elements’ recycled battery materials perform as well as similar materials made from virgin (or mined) sources while reducing carbon emissions associated with mining.

Based in Westborough, Mass., Ascend Elements is the leading provider of sustainable, closed-loop battery material solutions. From EV battery recycling to commercial-scale production of lithium-ion battery pCAM and CAM, Ascend Elements is revolutionizing the production of sustainable lithium-ion battery materials. Its Hydro-to-Cathode® direct precursor synthesis technology produces new pCAM and CAM from spent lithium-ion cells more efficiently than traditional methods, resulting in improved economics and lowered GHG emissions. With fewer batteries going to landfill and a cleaner manufacturing process, Ascend Elements is taking the lithium-ion battery industry to a higher level of sustainability.

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