Ascend Elements to Produce Premium Cathode Active Materials for Navitas Systems

Federal contractor Navitas Systems is purchasing cathode active materials made from recycled lithium-ion batteries and scrap for a U.S. Department of Defense project

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. (January 31, 2022) Ascend Elements, the vertically integrated lithium-ion battery recycling and engineered-materials company previously known as Battery Resourcers, today announced it has entered into a contract with Navitas Systems, a U.S. leader in comprehensive energy storage solutions and a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contractor. According to the contract, U.S.-based Ascend Elements will deliver cathode active material made from recycled batteries and scrap to Navitas Systems in April 2022 for use in a DoD project. This is the first commercial sale of cathode active materials made with Ascend Elements’ patented Hydro-to-Cathode™ technology.

“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 utilized 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,” said Michael O’Kronley, CEO and Director of Ascend Elements. “Our relationship with Navitas Systems will also demonstrate how battery materials suppliers, battery manufacturers, and the U.S. 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.”

“We’re looking forward to assessing how our mission-critical applications for the Department of Defense, including batteries for hybrid vehicles and other military equipment, can be well-served by Ascend Elements,” said Les Alexander, Vice President, Government, Defense and R&D at Navitas Systems. “Their ability to take recycled batteries and create high-performance cathode active materials holds the potential for us to source locally and securely, which is a priority for our customers. We’re pleased to be one of the first to demonstrate a circular lithium-ion battery economy here in the U.S.”

“The joint effort between Navitas and Ascend Elements is a major first step in solving several problems in the continued growth in usage of lithium-ion batteries,” said Marc Gietter, Chairman of the Military Power Sources Committee of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA). “First, it helps demonstrate the potential to minimize the waste stream related to the disposal of these batteries and, second, and probably more important, it is a significant milestone towards ultimately reducing the U.S. military’s reliance on foreign-sourced supply chain components.”

To learn more about Ascend Element’s closed-loop recycling and cathode active material manufacturing process, visit


Based in Westborough, Mass., Ascend Elements is revolutionizing the production of lithium-ion battery materials by establishing a clean and sustainable supply chain using recycled feedstock. Its patented Hydro-to-Cathode™ technology directly synthesizes new cathode materials from spent lithium-ion cells more efficiently than traditional methods, resulting in reduced cost, improved performance, and lowered GHG emissions. The results are lower cost, better performance batteries with fewer discarded in landfills, a cleaner manufacturing process, and a truly sustainable closed-loop circular battery economy. Ascend Elements is taking the lithium-ion battery industry to a higher level.


Navitas Systems is a leader in integrated design, technology development, and manufacturing of innovative energy-enabled system solutions and energy storage products for commercial, industrial, and government agency customers. Navitas Systems products range from robust energy storage solutions for motive power and defense-related applications, along with custom lithium cell design and production for specialized military applications. The company is based in Ann Arbor, Mich., with both a 48,000-square-foot R&D, Engineering, and Cell Manufacturing Center, and a 100,000-square-foot Lithium Battery Systems Manufacturing Center.

In August 2019, East Penn Manufacturing partnered with Navitas Systems and ultimately acquired full ownership of the company. East Penn is a privately-owned company operating the largest single-site battery manufacturing facility in the world. More information on Navitas Systems is available at as well as the Deka Ready Power lithium forklift batteries it designs and manufactures at More information on East Penn Manufacturing can be found at


Thomas Frey, APR

Ascend Elements | [email protected] | +1.734.658.0143