The Spirit and Meaning of Ascend Elements

by Roger Lin, VP Global Marketing & Government Relations

It’s not easy changing a company name. Between branding, signage, trademarks, banking, legal and IT system updates, there’s a lot of time and effort involved in it. So, you can bet we had some very good reasons to change our name to Ascend Elements.

While the name Battery Resourcers served us well for several years, our new name better describes who we are today and where we are going. As a company, we go above and beyond traditional battery recycling by upcycling discarded lithium-ion batteries directly into custom battery materials with greater performance at a lower cost. We are elevating critical elements to higher levels of value, performance, and sustainability. The name essentially states our mission.

To meet the needs of the fast-growing EV market and support a clean energy future, we need a lot of batteries, and we’re shifting from a carbon-intensive energy system to a mineral-intensive one. The cost of mining these minerals – containing critical elements like lithium, cobalt, and nickel – continues to rise, not just in price, but in environmental and social costs as well. And as we all know, batteries don’t last forever – they wear out and must be replaced. But instead of throwing them out, we must save them from landfill and preserve the critical elements within – and return them back into batteries to minimize the need for additional mining and the environmental impacts associated with it. We must also make this entire process incredibly efficient and economic, so it naturally drives towards 100% recycling and 0% landfill.

While traditional battery recycling processes often simply sell back into the metals commodities markets, our patented Hydro-to-Cathode™ technology transforms these elements directly into cathode active material – the core component that defines the lithium-ion battery. Our technology upcycles the elements recovered from spent batteries with no intermediate steps, more efficiently than other methods. We can adjust the ratio of these elements to customer requirements on the fly. Compared to today’s traditional energy-intensive mining and refining-based production processes, our technology can produce cathode active material at 90% lower carbon emissions and 50% lower cost compared to that made from newly mined minerals. It can also create batteries that outperform those made from newly mined minerals.

As an industry, we have both a tremendous challenge and a tremendous opportunity before us. For every dollar invested in battery manufacturing, we need to match the capacity of the battery ‘gigafactories’ with ‘giga-recycling’ plants. This isn’t optional. It’s the necessary completion and closing of the open battery supply chain loop – creating a circular battery economy that can ascend elements, bringing them back to life, over and over again, as efficiently and economically as possible. It won’t be easy. We have a steep climb ahead of us, but we’re confident we can ascend to new heights and meet the coming challenge. That’s the spirit and meaning of Ascend Elements.