Eramet, BASF and SUEZ are jointly promoting the ReLieVe (“Recycling of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles”) project. It aims to recycle batteries from electric vehicles and enable the production of new power packs in Europe.
Starting in January 2020, the trio plans to develop a closed-loop system over a period of two years – from the collection of old batteries to the production of new electrode materials.
All three parties are contributing their respective expertise: SUEZ in the collection and dismantling of discarded batteries, Eramet in the development and installation of the recycling process and BASF in the production of cathode materials. Scientific support is also provided by Chimie ParisTech and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Eramet manages the project.
The recovery of nickel, cobalt, manganese and lithium is becoming increasingly important in the electric car industry. According to Jean-Marc Boursier of SUEZ, around 50,000 tons of batteries could be recycled in Europe by 2027, and ten times as much by 2035. The project is co-financed by the EU consortium EIT Raw Materials (EIT stands for European Institute of Innovation and Technology). The total budget of the three project members, including funding, amounts to 4.7 million euros. “The ReLieVe project responds to the European Commission’s appeal to unite European players to position itself in the fast-growing lithium-ion battery market,” sums up Laurent Joncourt from the Eramet Ideas research centre.