Hydrovolt invests big in new battery recycling technology
Battery recycling company, Hydrovolt on Friday (June 16) announced that it has been awarded NOK15.3 million by Enova, a Norwegian government enterprise supporting clean energy and climate efforts to develop a discharge and dismantling technology for batteries.
Hydrovolt operates Europe's largest recycling facility for electric vehicle batteries in Fredrikstad, Norway and part of the process is done manually, however with the latest investment support by Enova, Northvolt is looking to automate and efficiently manage the electrical energy discharge from the batteries.
"Automation is a prerequisite for achieving profitable operations as the volumes of used EV-batteries will increase significantly in a few years. Additionally, we will be able to store the energy from the discharging process of the battery in battery banks and utilize it for our own consumption, as well as distribute excess energy to the local power grid", said Helge Fredheim, project lead at the discharge and dismantling site of Hydrovolt at Ora, Fredrikstad.
The new technology offers a better utilization of the batteries' residual energy compared to what is offered by the recycling process today. In simple terms, on an average about 50 kWh of residual energy remains in the battery pack that is being recycled. With a planned intake of 100 battery packs per day, this could amount to around 5 MWh per day, which is roughly equivalent to 1.6 GWh over the course of a year.
Hydrovolt expects the cost-effective discharge and dismantling processes will provide Norway, and broadly the European market, with better opportunities to retain volumes from recycling and raw materials in the region. In the absence of it, the volumes stand the risk of being moved to other countries with lower costs and greater risk to the environment and people.
Further, with the new technology, Hydrovolt intends to make its recycling process energy and resource efficient in line with its ambitions and desire of EV manufacturers.
"We believe that Norway, as a pioneering country in the use of electric vehicles, remains the best place in the world to develop such a market position," said Andreas Frydensvang, Chief Commercial Officer in Hydrovolt.
"We also see that the amount of battery packs to be recycled is now significantly higher than expected just a couple of years ago."
Europe is starring at a situation wherein the number of EVs to be recycled could reach 2 million per year in about a decade – about 20 times more than what it is today—using the Hydrovolt discharge and dismantle technology could significantly reduce CO2 emissions.
Hydrovolt is a joint venture between industrial group, Hydro, and battery manufacturer, Northvolt established in 2020. Hydrovolt had previously received NOK 43.5 million ($4.8 million) from Enova in November 2020.