The HVBatCycle research consortium aims to permanently manage cathode metals, electrolyte and graphite in a closed material cycle. Under the leadership of the Volkswagen Group, Taniobis GmbH, Goslar, Germany; J. Schmalz GmbH, Glatten; and Viscom AG, Hanover, have been working together with researchers from RWTH Aachen University, TU Braunschweig and the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films for three years on researching and developing processes required for this.
The project is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.
“European battery production can only be successful if it focuses on sustainability in as many areas as possible,” stated Michael Kellner, Parliamentary State Secretary for Germany. “Sustainable batteries are crucial for an energy and transport transition that is guided by high environmental and social standards.”
Sebastian Wolf, Chief Operating Officer Battery Volkswagen AG, explained, “Recycling batteries and production rejects play a crucial role in securing the supply of raw materials for our planned factories. Through the HVBatCycle project, a holistic view of recycling processes and thereby the implementation of the closed loop of battery materials is being prepared.”
Taniobis also reported its belief in the project’s potential to help its affiliate JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation commercialise Lithium-Iron battery (LiB) recycling.
“JX Metals group has been working on the development of recycling technology to establish closed-loop recycling, the circular process to recycle valuable metals from used LiBs to the raw materials for new ones, and our group has already developed the technology that can extract metallic salts for raw materials of LiBs,” stated Dr Shizuo Sugawara, Deputy CEO of JX Nippon Mining and Metals.
Dr. Kazuyuki Marukawa, CEO of JX Metals Circular Solutions Europe and vice chairman of Taniobis, concluded, “We unitedly contribute to the success of the project. We will newly establish a hydrometallurgical plant for the upcoming R&D based upon our technologies in Goslar, where Taniobis operates its main facility. In this project, we play a key role to optimise the recycling processes to recover the high-quality materials with high yields, inputting black mass (pulverised batteries) provided by Volkswagen AG. Starting up with EU and Germany together with Volkswagen-led research team, JX Metals group will globally contribute to the early spread of EVs which are indispensable for the realisation of a carbon-free society and the realisation of a resource-recycling society through the foregoing efforts.”