Research Project to Improve Battery Recycling

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and various partners from industry are working on a new process chain for recycling spent batteries in a joint project. The collaboration aims to achieve more efficient recycling by retaining the batteries’ active components.

Elimination of resource-consuming process steps

Conventional processes that shred battery cells and dissolve the active materials consume lots of energy and chemicals. In addition, the production of new battery material from these extracted materials requires high energy and raw material input. In contrast, the new process relies on direct recycling of active materials, in which they are not completely dissolved but separated mechanically.

Variations in source material pose challenge

However, this approach is still in the early stages of development. There are challenges, such as predictability of the recycled material’s behavior and the development of practical, economical methods to efficiently disassemble different types of batteries. The project focuses on the development of an agile process chain for direct recycling of lithium-ion batteries and the regeneration of the recovered active materials. At the same time, the process is intended to be variable for different source materials and battery formats.

Ten direct partners involved in the project

Led by Weber Ultrasonics AG, the project consortium consists of four KIT institutes and the five other industrial partners PowerCo SE, Umicore AG & Co. KG, SCHUNK SE & Co. KG, FIBRO LÄPPLE TECHNOLOGY GMBH, and Carl Padberg Zentrifugenbau GmbH. Siemens supports the project as an associated partner in the area of control and digitalization.



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