Many innovative approaches to battery recycling are emerging, offering new hope for a sustainable future. Lithium recycling in particular is crucial for Europe. Europe relies almost entirely on imports for its lithium supply, but some advanced approaches could revolutionize battery recycling and make a major contribution to our sustainable future.
- New battery recycling methods offer hope.
- Researchers in Sweden are pioneering new technology to recycle metals from old electric car batteries.
- Italian startup Arabat uses organic waste acid to extract battery metals such as nickel and lithium.
A new recipe for battery recycling
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have come up with a new idea road It was developed to recycle metals from old electric car batteries. This hydrometallurgical method – which uses aqueous solutions to extract minerals – uses an innovative approach and reverses the order of the recycling process. Instead of removing impurities like aluminum and copper first, the researchers first extracted the valuable lithium and aluminum from the batteries.
The final part of the process, the filtration step, can be compared to brewing coffee. When aluminum and lithium dissolve in a liquid, the other metals remain in a solid state. The next step is to separate the aluminum and lithium. This is facilitated by the contrasting properties of metals.
Carts: vital innovation in battery recycling
Italian startup Arbat uses organic waste and citrus waste. The company’s process uses organic waste acid to extract essential metals such as nickel, cobalt and lithium carbonate from batteries.
This process cuts the batteries into a black mass, which then undergoes a green filtration process. The output is then filtered through selective sedimentation to recover materials such as nickel, manganese, cobalt, lithium carbonate and graphite. This innovative approach could revolutionize the battery recycling sector.
Evonik: Simplifying lithium recycling using ceramics
The German company Evonik has one They developed a membrane that collects lithium ions from used batteries. The ceramic membrane used in this process allows lithium ions to move through its crystalline structure, simplifying the recycling process.
This solution, known as membrane electrolysis, uses electricity to separate lithium ions and produce battery-quality lithium hydroxide in one step. This development could contribute to the production of more sustainable batteries, especially in light of the increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries for electric mobility.
Altilium metals: expanding the scope of recycling activities
Altilium Metals, a company from Devon, UK, is also innovating the battery recycling sector. The company has developed a recycling technology with an efficiency of more than 95 percent to recycle important battery materials. Altilium Metals plans to expand its operations and aims to recycle 24,000 batteries annually.
The company’s technology is consistent with the British government’s critical minerals strategy and contributes to the transition to a circular economy. By recycling metals from used electric vehicle batteries, Altilium Metals reduces the need to extract new materials, reducing environmental and social costs.
The largest recycling facility in Europe
Fortum Battery Recycling has started construction of Europe’s largest closed-loop hydrometallurgical recycling facility in Harjavalta, Finland. The facility aims to reduce dependence on imported raw materials for critical batteries by recovering 95 percent of the valuable and critical metals from the batteries and returning them to the production cycle of new lithium-ion battery chemicals.
As demand for batteries and raw materials increases with the growth of e-mobility, recycling is becoming increasingly important to decarbonise the economy. With its advanced facilities and plans for further expansion, Fortum Battery Recycling aims to significantly improve the future of battery recycling and sustainable materials production in Europe.
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