TU Braunschweig inaugurates battery lab with focus on recycling

TU Braunschweig is opening another research facility focussing on batteries. In the CircularLab, scientists are now researching how it can recycle lithium-ion batteries and implement circular production.

Image: Christian Bierwagen/TU Braunschweig

The CircularLab is part of the Battery LabFactory Braunschweig (BLB), a research centre at TU Braunschweig, and complements the two existing research facilities ProductionLab and DiagnosisLab. With this trio, BLB says it now covers a large part of the life cycle and circular production of lithium-ion batteries, “from material synthesis and functionalisation, through electrode, cell, module and system development and production, to the recycling of production waste and aged battery systems and the return of recyclable materials to the cycle.”

The ground-breaking ceremony for the CicularLab took place in October 2021, with the first systems arriving in the autumn of 2022. The official opening of the state-of-the-art building followed this week. According to the university, there will be around 1250 square metres of main floor space available. TU Braunschweig is acting as the client and investor. A total of three million euros were invested through an ERDF fund from the state of Lower Saxony, the EU and the TU Braunschweig. The federal and state governments provided another ten million euros for the procurement of the CircularLab’s plant technology and analytical equipment.

The staff at the newly opened facility are primarily working on achieving a closed cycle for battery materials and thus ensuring sustainability and independence from critical raw materials. The key objectives are thus resource-conserving electrode and cell production and efficient recycling. According to the Braunschweig-based company, existing production processes for electrode production, such as drying technologies, are being investigated and optimised on a pilot scale.

BLB describes itself as one of the key research institutions for battery research in Germany. Among other things, the centre is the head of two competence clusters of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and a European network of pilot lines for lithium battery production. In addition, BLB also works outside Europe with partners in Australia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and the USA.

“With the Battery LabFactory, Braunschweig has become a centre for energy storage research with national and international appeal. Today’s opening of the BLB’s CircularLab is a new milestone for us in the expansion of our infrastructure and our research, which will make a significant contribution to the energy transition, but also to strengthening the economic power of our region,” says Prof. Peter Hecker, Vice President for Research and Early Career Scientists at TU Braunschweig.



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