With electric vehicles becoming more and more widespread, battery production is also increasing rapidly. However, in order to save primary raw materials and ensure a circular economy, functional materials should be recovered and efficiently reused as much as possible. The “RecyLIB” project, led by Fraunhofer ISC with partners from different countries in the EU, is a project funded by EU countries. The project aims at an integrated lithium-ion battery electrode manufacturing process in which the production process is designed to allow the use of recycled materials. This allows the active functional material to be recovered after the end of the battery’s lifetime and to achieve high yields for direct reuse in the remanufacture of electrodes.
The recycled electrode material should be able to be reintroduced directly into the electrode manufacturing process without affecting cell performance. Furthermore, critical process aids such as toxic solvents should be eliminated. “The RecyLIB team wants to take a big step towards sustainable battery production in Europe. Battery production and battery recycling must go hand in hand so that energy and resource consumption in production, as well as CO2 emissions and other environmental impacts, are as low as possible,” says ,” says Dr. Michael Hofmann from the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research, who coordinated the Project.
To achieve this, the RecyLIB consortium relies on electrode production based on water-based separation (electrohydraulic fragmentation and centrifugation) and sorting processes to recover the battery materials as precisely as possible, as well as melting, which allows toxic solvents to be dispensed with. The performance and aging behavior of battery cells made from primary raw materials and recycled functional materials are also being investigated and evaluated within the project.