ICoNiChem Widnes Ltd has been a chemical manufacturer in Widnes for more than 40 years and has specialised in the production of cobalt chemicals for a variety of industries such as catalysts, pigments, animal feeds and of course, EV batteries.
The production process utilises impure cobalt containing materials from nickel and copper mining activities, which are purified to a high grade before production of specialist chemicals which are then sold into the global markets mentioned above.
What can you offer to NAA Members
The same purification technology used for many years with cobalt sourced from mining activities can be used for the recovery of cobalt, nickel, manganese and lithium from the black mass resulting from EV battery recycling. From 2017-2021 we were part of an Innovate UK project that was able to demonstrate that it was possible for us to reprocess black mass and provide a cathode materials feedstock that could be reconstituted into batteries with comparable performance to those made from “virgin” raw materials.
ICoNIChem is actively trying to develop a circular economy for black mass recycling within the UK. The carbon footprint of local recycling clearly has advantages over sending batteries or black mass abroad and our hydrometallic process has similar advantages over traditional shredding/smelting. Importantly, we have a proven technical process and the financial capability to expand. We see it as the next strategic objective for us to establish partner(s) in the automotive sector that could make that circular economy possible.
Name: Paul Croft