After several years of R&D, Eramet’s teams and their partners – Suez, Chimie ParisTech and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology – gathered since January 2020 for of the ReLieVe (Recycling of Li-ion batteries for Electric Vehicles) collaborative project, have demonstrated their ability to recycle Li-ion batteries in a closed-loop process with a high level of performance.
Several test campaigns supported by EIT RawMaterials and conducted on a laboratory scale and then on a pilot scale at the Eramet group’s innovation center in Trappes, near Paris, have made it possible to recover all valuable elements – nickel, cobalt, lithium and manganese – and transform them into new battery-grade metals.
The solution developed covers all the stages of the value chain, from the collection and dismantling of end-of-life batteries based on the expertise of the Suez group to the recovery in the form of battery-grade metal salts by hydrometallurgical means. The process developed makes it possible to treat batteries at the end of their life but also manufacturing scraps from gigafactories.
Based in particular on the unique know-how of Eramet in mineralurgy and hydrometallurgy, the process guarantees high recovery yields that position it beyond the requirements of future European regulations.
The completion of piloting steps and the excellent results obtained mark an important milestone in the long-term development of an industrial recycling solution adapted to the European market.