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BASF begins operations of its prototype metal refinery in Germany for recovering battery metals

Leading chemical producer, BASF has started the operations of its prototype metal refinery for battery recycling in Schwarzheide, Germany.

The advanced plant and the innovative battery recycling technology help to process end-of-life lithium-ion batteries and battery production scrap allowing the extraction of valuable metals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and copper.

"With the expected rapid growth of the electric vehicle market, battery recycling provides competitive and sustainable access to critical metals," said Dr. Daniel Schönfelder, President of BASF's Catalysts division, who is also responsible for the company's battery materials and battery recycling business.

"We will use the extracted metals to enable a truly local circular economy for the battery value chain."

The prototype metal refinery is a major milestone for the chemical giant in building Europe's first co-located battery material production and battery recycling facility in Schwarzheide.

It complements BASF's existing cathode active materials plant and the battery recycling plant for the production of black mass, which is scheduled to start operations later this year, the company stated.

The company noted it will further develop and scale its metal refining technology with the goal of establishing a commercial-scale refinery in Europe in the next few years. This move is expected to help strengthen BASF's footprint in Europe, complementing a strong collection network for end-of-life batteries and battery production scrap, black mass production, and battery materials production to support the development of a sustainable materials ecosystem in Europe. 

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Author : Shraddha Kakade
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