With the development of the electric vehicle and energy storage markets, the sustainability of value chains is now becoming centre stage, alongside the security of supply of critical raw materials.

With the aim to contribute to a global circular future, Singapore-headquartered GLC Recycle provides tailored solutions for battery disposal and black mass treatment, E-waste recycling, and collaborative tech with premier automotive and battery original equipment manufacturers. The firm seeks to streamline the lithium battery raw material supply chain in a low-carbon manner and lead as a pioneer in sustainable lithium battery recycling.

The start-up was founded in 2022 and opened its first metals recovery plant in Laos in August 2023. The factory can treat 24,000 tonnes/year of black mass and produce both lithium and mixed hydroxide product (MHP). Last October, it sealed partnerships with China’s CNGR and Germany’s Siemens to develop a “green” closed-loop battery circular economy.

Kallanish spoke with the company’s chief executive officer, Yang Mingdong, about GLC Recycle’s activities and future plans.


➡️ Tell us about GLC Recycle and its plans to offer environmentally friendly recycled battery materials.

GLC Recycle is a leading ‘Eco-Innovator’ in the battery recycling industry. We’re committed to providing environmentally friendly solutions for the growing demand for electric vehicle batteries. Our mission is to establish a global closed-loop system for low-carbon, traceable Eco-Series battery materials, minimising environmental impact and maximising resource recovery. We achieve this by recycling spent batteries and transforming them into high-purity, usable materials for new battery production.


➡️ When do you expect to complete the expansion of the black mass plant in Laos?

Our black mass processing plant expansion in Laos is progressing well, with additional 5 hectares of processing area, and remains on target for completion by the end of 2026. This expansion will significantly increase our capacity to produce black mass, the crucial first step in extracting valuable battery metals.


➡️ With the expansion in black mass production and battery processing, where do you plan to secure feedstock from? Are you planning any agreements with EV manufacturers to secure old-life batteries or with battery manufacturers for production scrap?

We employ a multi-pronged approach to secure feedstock for our expanded operations. We actively pursue agreements with well-known industry partners with global networks.

By collaborating with EV manufacturers, we can establish reliable channels for collecting old-life batteries at their end-of-life stage. Partnering with battery manufacturers allows us to recycle production scrap, minimising waste within the battery production chain.


➡️ What are the company’s current recovery rates for key minerals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt? Can you tell us about the technology used and how it differs from competitors?

GLC Recycle utilises a state-of-the-art hydrometallurgical process for efficient and sustainable battery recycling. This process boasts high recovery rates, offers a competitive advantage and is environmentally friendly. Our technology minimises the use of harmful chemicals and adheres to stringent environmental regulations. As such, our innovative approach differentiates us from competitors who may rely on less-sustainable methods.


➡️ How are GLC Recycle’s materials compliant with EU and US regulations? Where are your customers based?

GLC Recycle prioritises regulatory compliance. Our recycled materials meet the highest standards set by the EU and US regulations. This ensures quality and reliability for our customers who are predominantly based in: Europe, North America, China, South Korea and Japan.


➡️ Besides CNGR and XTC, are there other Chinese offtakers? What are the materials being used for?

Currently, CNGR and XTC are valued offtakers for our recycled materials. There are others which we have agreed to keep their identity confidential. In addition, we are actively seeking new partnerships with other customers around the world. Our Eco-Series battery raw materials are primarily used for energy storage and automotive batteries.

Recycled materials contribute to the production of energy storage solutions for renewable energy applications, and we also aim to become a key supplier of sustainable battery materials for the booming EV industry.


➡️ With the slowdown in EV sales globally, do you see an immediate impact on demand for recycled materials? Will this affect your expansion plans?

While a slowdown in EV sales might impact overall demand, we believe the long-term outlook for recycled battery materials remains strong. The global focus on sustainability and resource scarcity will continue to drive demand for our products. Furthermore, our focus on securing feedstock from diverse sources helps mitigate short-term fluctuations. Our expansion plans remain on track to meet the growing demand for sustainable battery materials in the future.


➡️ Does the company have plans to build new plants in Europe and North America? If you were to expand globally, where would GLC Recycle look at setting shop?

GLC Recycle recognises the rising demand for sustainable battery recycling solutions in key markets. We are actively exploring opportunities to build new plants in Europe and North America. Our selection process will prioritise regions with strong environmental regulations promoting battery recycling, and access to reliable feedstock sources. There needs to be a supportive government framework for the development of the circular economy.