15 September 2020 by James Langley

Fenix to open West Midlands battery plant

Fenix Battery Recycling Ltd is to open a mixed chemistry battery recycling facility in the West Midlands in October.

The Willenhall-based shredding and recycling plant will be the first in the UK to offer on-site recycling for multiple battery types, Fenix claims.

The founders of Fenix Battery Recycling (l-r): Dr Athan Fox, Miles Freeman, Neil Muttock and Damian Lambkin

Alkaline batteries will be recycled at the facility from October and Fenix says that within three months technology will be in place to recycle lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries.

Damian Lambkin, director of business development at Fenix, said: “We will offer cost-effective and efficient battery recycling, dramatically cutting down the need for batteries to be exported to Europe for recycling.

“The surge in electric vehicles brings a need for effective lithium ion recycling in the UK and we are confident we will be able to offer this by early next year.

“Fenix is currently in talks with several battery collectors, producer compliance schemes and recycling companies across the UK to facilitate working partnerships for battery recycling for late 2020 and 2021.”

Fenix expects to recycle 10,000 tonnes of batteries a year to start with, before this increases to 20,000 once the Li-ion technology is in place.

Research

Fenix says it will also carry out research into cleaner, greener battery recycling solutions at the facility. These efforts will be led by Fenix’s director of technology Dr Athan Fox.

“We will scale up and commercialise technology to tackle recycling challenges”

Dr Athan Fox

Dr Fox said: “We will scale up and commercialise technology to tackle recycling challenges, contributing to the creation of a circular economy.”

Alongside Dr Fox and Mr Lambkin, Fenix’s founders include Miles Freeman and Neil Muttock. Mr Freeman formerly led a separate lead acid battery recycler called Aurelius Environmental with Dr Fox, before both left the company earlier this year.

Batteries

Several different types of battery recycling facilities operate throughout the UK. WasteCare opened an alkaline battery recycling plant in Halifax in 2017, which sees seven million batteries recycled every year (see letsrecycle.com story). WasteCare collects batteries from 30,000 points across the UK, transporting them to the Halifax facility where they are sorted for recycling.

And, West Midlands-based battery collection and sorting company Ecobat Logistics operates a site at Darlaston, near Walsall. The company, which changed its name from G&P Logistics last June, sorts automotive, industrial and portable batteries (see letsrecycle.com story).

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