With nearly 5 million plug-in vehicles on the road today, each with a high-voltage Li-ion battery pack, concern about the vehicles' end of life has led to increasing focus on battery recycling. Most of the focus to date has been on two types of processing. Pyrometallurgical processes use high temperatures to melt the battery materials and recover metals directly but can't recover lithium and use large amounts of energy, resulting in high costs. Hydrometallurgical processing is a low-temperature process that can recover valuable materials like lithium and create more valuable precursors. OnTo's focus is on direct recycling, in which used cathode materials can be re-lithiated for near-new performance.
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