WHW Recycling & BASF join forces on battery recycling in Germany.

BASF and WHW Recycling have signed an agreement on the processing of cathode and anode waste to create new raw materials. The partnership aims to make battery cell production in Europe more sustainable.

Photo: BASF SE

Raw materials can be recovered by processing cathode and anode foil waste from battery cell production for electric vehicles. The two companies say that WHW Recycling will now be able to complement BASF’s processes of collecting production waste and feeding the recovered raw materials into various value chains. The agreement will enable BASF to expand its recycling service offering for its customers.   

With the new agreement, from the end of this year onwards, cathode and anode foil waste from battery cell production will be processed and separated into its components in WHW Recycling’s two new separation plants in Baudenbach, Germany. After separation, BASF will refine the resulting impure cathode active material so that the resulting battery-grade minerals can be re-used as raw materials for cathode active material production.

WHW Recycling is a joint venture between Walch Holding and Štefan Hanigovský, owner of the Slovakian waste management company Fecupral, which is a specialist in the recycling of electrode foil.

According to WHW Recycling, most of the recyclable materials can be recovered up to a highly pure form with a unique process patented exclusively by the company. In this process, the cathode foils made up of thin aluminium foil coated with cathode active material can be separated in the cathode separation plant and reused as a metal fraction. After processing in the anode separation plant, the copper used in the anode foil as a carrier material as well as graphite can be used as recovered raw materials.

Štefan Hanigovský, joint venture partner of WHW Recycling said: “In collaboration with BASF, we continue our proven recycling processes. Our goal is to jointly be an important part of the battery recycling infrastructure and become a leader in the development of battery recycling technologies. 

In April this year, BASF put its prototype metal refinery for battery recycling into operation in Schwarzheide, Germany. The chemical company intends to develop and optimise processes and procedures there in order to recycle the raw materials from old batteries and production waste.



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