Fortum, BASF and Nornickel research into closed-loop battery recycling

Posted by Christian Pfäffli on

Ludwigshafen, Germany and Harjavalta, Finland: Fortum, BASF and Nornickel have signed a letter of intent to plan a battery recycling cluster in Harjavalta, Finland, to serve the electric car market. This would enable a successfully closed-loop recycling process for reusing the critical metals contained in spent batteries.

The use of metals from recycled batteries to produce battery materials offers a significant CO2 reduction in the production of electric cars. An additional CO2 reduction can be achieved by using electricity from renewable sources in Finland for the recycling process.

"By recycling valuable metals in lithium-ion batteries, we reduce the environmental impact of electric car batteries by supplementing the supply of cobalt, nickel and other critical metals from primary sources. Through our earlier acquisition of the Finnish growth company Crisolteq, an expert in low-CO2 hydrometallurgical processing, we are very proud that Fortum is now able to increase the recovery rate of valuable metals in lithium-ion batteries from 50 to over 80 per cent". - Tero Holländer, Head of Business Development, Fortum Recycling and Waste.

BASF intends to use recycled materials from the processes developed by the companies under this cooperation in its planned production of precursors for battery materials in Harjavalta, Finland. "The combination of battery material production and recycling enables closed-loop recycling," said Tim Ingle, Vice President Precious Metals Refining, Chemicals & Battery Recycling at BASF. "To drive electrification forward, we are focusing on providing solutions for high energy density cathode materials and highly efficient lithium extraction for battery recycling."

The companies are committed to promoting the production and use of responsibly produced, recycled raw materials in the battery market. "A modern recycling plant alongside Nornickel Harjavalta would further strengthen its position as one of the most sustainable nickel refineries in the world. This facility is ideal for the sustainable processing of two of the most important metals used in lithium-ion batteries. The development of recycling solutions will not only support Nornickel's strategy to further reduce its carbon footprint and improve sustainability. It is also important to enable the industry to meet the growing demand for critical metals in the electric vehicle sector," says Joni Hautojärvi, Managing Director of Nornickel Harjavalta.

Source: BASF - Press release as of March 6, 2020


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