Langelsheim, Germany – The German government has announced €5.7 million in funding for a pilot plant to recycle lithium-ion batteries. Currently, there is no process for recycling the batteries used to power electric vehicles, especially for the recovery of lithium.
The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety awarded the funding to Chemetall Lithium, which will contribute additional funds for a total of more than €10 million.
Chemetall is part of a consortium of companies participating in LithoRec, a comprehensive research and development project related to lithium-ion battery recycling. As few electric vehicles have entered the market, there is limited knowledge and expertise on collecting and recycling large lithium-ion batteries. Existing techniques concentrate on batteries for portable electronics, with low recycling rates and little or no recovery of lithium.
LithoRec will follow a comprehensive approach following the entire life cycle of the battery, starting with a recycling-friendly battery design through the final recovery of materials that can be used in the production of new units. The project also aims to secure the supply of raw materials such as lithium and cobalt.