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Taniobis GmBH join HVBatCycle, VW-led battery-recycling tech research team

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Taniobis GmbH and Partners have announced their alliance with the Volkswagen-led research team to advance battery-recycling technology. The HVBatCycle research consortium aims to perpetually manage cathode metals, electrolytes, and graphite in a closed material cycle.

Michael Kellner, Parliamentary State Secretary, said, "European battery production can only be successful if it focuses on sustainability in as many areas as possible. Sustainable batteries are crucial for an energy and transport transition that is guided by high environmental and social standards."

Under the leadership of the Volkswagen Group, Taniobis GmbH, J. Schmalz GmbH, and Viscom AG 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 the processes required for this. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Sebastian Wolf, Chief Operating Officer Battery of Volkswagen AG further explains that 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 are being prepared."

Closed raw material cycle and multiple recycling

To use fewer materials from primary sources such as mines or cellars, essential raw materials should not only be recovered once but several times. For this purpose, battery cells made from recycled material are recycled again to prove that even multiple recycling runs have no impact on the material quality. In particular, this involves scalability and cost-effectiveness.

Advantages through the use of secondary materials

The consortium project focuses on the mechanical-hydrometallurgical recycling route characterized by low energy requirements.

The "HVBatCycle" project is intended to show efficient processes and innovative solutions that ensure the development of an end-to-end value chain with high profitability and at the same time the highest possible recycling and energy efficiency and minimal environmental pollution.

Automation of dismantling processes and recovery

Concrete innovative development approaches lie in need-based, i.e. economically optimized discharge and a largely automated dismantling of declining battery systems down to the cell or electrode level. This also includes an almost loss-free separation of active material and carrier foils as well as the recovery of graphite and volatile electrolyte components.

In the subsequent hydrometallurgical processing of the "black mass" of graphite and battery metals using water and chemical solvents, the focus is on an early and selective extraction of the lithium in soluble form as well as the leaching, precipitation, and refining of the metals contained as a mixed hydroxide concentrate. In connection with the renewed material synthesis of cathodic active material, it is to be investigated whether the separation of metal compounds is necessary to produce new, fully powerful cathode material.

The research work on the preparation of the electrolyte and the graphite should show through the development of suitable processes that important electrolyte components and the graphite can also be efficiently prepared and used again in cell production in a quality suitable for batteries.

All process steps are holistically accompanied by an ecological and economic life cycle analysis 

Author : Debi Dash
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