Seneca receives four awards from the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec
A new life for lithium-ion batteries
The new lithium-ion battery recycling process developed by Seneca has received multiple awards in the past year. A month ago, the team won three Honoris Genius awards (best engineering project, innovative project and sustainable development project) and the public Coup de Coeur prize during the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec’s (OIQ) Excellence in Engineering Night. Earlier in April, the organization also received the OIQ’s Recognition of an Innovative Project award for the Montreal Region. Seneca’s sister company, Recyclage Lithion, is currently using the lithium-ion battery recycling process at its pilot plant in Anjou.
Specializing in industrial process development since 1997, Seneca’s experts are driven by complex projects that require creativity and innovation. Thus, it was natural for the team to focus on a key environmental issue : the recycling of lithium-ion batteries.
Learn more about the unique and sustainable technology developed by Seneca at:
Honoris Genius – Engineering Project
An ingenious response to a major challenge
As transportation electrification is central to governments’ climate change plans, the volume of lithium-ion batteries on the market has increased rapidly and continues to grow. Until now, the only solution available was to dispose of these dangerous wastes by burning them via a pyrometallurgy process that generates large quantities of greenhouse gas emissions (GES) and can lead to fire, burns and accidental spills.
The solution developed by Seneca made it possible to recycle 95% of the battery’s components in a secure method, while considerably reducing GES. The process developed recycles components, such as lithium, cobalt and nickel, which can be supplied directly to manufacturers and reused, contributing to a green circle.
Honoris Genius – Innovative Project
An innovation challenge that cannot be ignored
In 2017, following the first research that aimed to validate existing processes to recycle lithium-ion batteries, Seneca identified the lack of effective and sustainable solutions. Before jumping into the project, the team aimed to meet three principles:
- Be sustainable and minimize GES emissions;
- Recover valued components for further use;
- Be economically viable.
The engineers, chemists and technicians faced the challenge of developing different steps of the process based on hydrometallurgy, the only technology that allows the respect of the established principles. From the very beginning of the implementation of the plant, Seneca’s construction team has been involved right until the equipment activation in January 2020. Since then, the process has been tested, improved and optimized in order to obtain quality samples that can be approved by the market. The process, which has now been licensed, allows for the recycling of strategic materials from end-of-life lithium-ion batteries, as well as the waste from their production.
Honoris Genius – Sustainable Development Project
Multiple benefits for sustainable development
The solution based on hydrometallurgy provides major benefits for sustainable development, including :
- Decrease in GES emissions from recycling processes.
- Recycling of high-value components that can replace primary materials drastically reduces the mining of lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, etc.
- The process can be used locally as it has very low environmental emissions, reducing the need to transport end-of-life batteries and components from all over the world.
- Reducing the cost of manufacturing batteries by recycling production waste.
With this unique process, Seneca is positioning itself as a world leader in innovation by being one of the first companies to offer a sustainable solution for recycling lithium-ion batteries and thereby legitimizing the use of electric vehicles to fight climate change.
Driven by environmental values, the Seneca team focuses its projects on the responsible use of natural resources, the reintegration of waste products and the reduction of GES emissions in all industrial processes developed. The team combines innovation and sustainable development in mandates that promote a circular economy, such as the recovery of carbon dioxide to feed greenhouses or the recovery of critical and strategic minerals from mine tailings.
The creation of the lithium-ion battery recycling project demonstrates Seneca’s ability to support clients in their ambitions to realize major environmental projects in a unique and unprecedented way. Seneca provides its clients with cutting-edge expertise and gives them the resources to develop the most ambitious industrial investment projects.
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