US Department of Defense (DoD) contractor Navitas Systems has awarded a contract to Ascend Elements to deliver cathode active materials.

The contract will see Ascend Elements supply the materials, manufactured from recycled lithium-ion batteries and scraps, in support of a DoD project.

Ascend Elements is a US-based, vertically integrated lithium-ion battery recycling and engineered materials company.

It leverages its patented closed-loop technology, Hydro-to-Cathode, to create the materials on a commercial scale.

Ascend Elements CEO and Director Michael O’Kronley said: “We see this as a milestone for the lithium-ion battery industry. With this agreement, Ascend Elements and Navitas will demonstrate how our Hydro-to-Cathode process elevates the value of recycled battery materials, by transforming them into premium cathode active materials, to be utilised in manufacturing new lithium batteries.

“Testing to date indicates the material performs as well as or, in some cases, even better than, virgin cathode materials.

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“Our relationship with Navitas Systems will also demonstrate how battery materials suppliers, battery manufacturers, and the US government can collaborate to produce sustainable cathode materials here in the United States, ultimately helping address national security and energy independence concerns, as most critical metals are currently sourced from foreign countries.”

Delivery under the contract will take place in April this year.

Ascend Elements’ closed-loop recycling and manufacturing process helps reduce waste related to the disposal of batteries.

Navitas Systems Government, Defense and R&D vice-president Les Alexander said: “We’re pleased to be one of the first to demonstrate a circular lithium-ion battery economy, here in the US.”  

Last month, the DoD awarded a contract to Sypris Electronics for the delivery of embedded circuit card assemblies for a cryptographic programme.