Metastable Materials, an urban mining start-up, on Friday announced the commissioning of a new facility in Bengaluru with a chemical-free integrated carbothermal reduction process for recycling and extracting valuable materials from lithium-ion batteries.

The 21,000-square-foot unit includes quality control and material handling capabilities to facilitate and manage waste-as-ore concept-based recycling of hazardous end-of-life batteries and products, according to the company.

“Our newly-developed urban mining unit will act as a catalyst in the scaling and commercialization of the integrated carbothermal reduction process. This unit, which has a fully operational capacity of up to 1500 tonnes, would serve as a training ground for the extended Metastable team to gain much-needed experience and practical exposure in the recycling of LiBs,” said Shubham Vishvakarma, founder and chief of process engineering, Metastable Materials.

The start-up claims it is the first facility in the world to use a chemical-free integrated carbothermal reduction process for battery recycling, which extracts valuable materials from lithium-ion batteries. It has an in-house quality control laboratory. In the future, the unit will also serve as an on-site R&D centre, allowing it to achieve breakthrough improvements in yield, purity, and overall process efficiency.

Metastable stated that the unit is expected to begin production in January 2023, and it is also looking to actively ramp up the new unit’s production capabilities to enable it to achieve its optimal capacity of processing five tonnes of raw materials (via urban mining) per day over the next few quarters, with an annual capacity of up to 1,500 tonnes.