Published 4 years ago.
About a 4 minute read.
/ This article is sponsored by
The ReLieVe project will develop and scale the process and structuring of an integrated industrial sector — from collection and recycling of end-of-life batteries, to the manufacturing of new electrode materials.
The “Recycling Li-ion batteries for electric Vehicle” (ReLieVe) project
— co-founded by French multinational mining and metallurgy company
Eramet; SUEZ, a
France-based circular waste solutions provider; and
BASF — is working to develop a
closed-loop process to recycle lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles, and
to enable the production of new lithium-ion batteries in Europe.
Over a two-year period starting January 2020, the ReLieVe project will work
toward the large-scale development of this innovative process and the
structuring of an integrated industrial sector — from the collection and
dismantling of end-of-life batteries for recycling, all the way to the
manufacturing of new electrode materials.
In 2018, BMW Group, Swedish energy startup Northvolt and Belgian
materials giant Umicore formed a joint technology consortium to develop a
circular value chain for EV battery
in Europe. The consortium’s chief objective is to make battery cells sustainable
by establishing a closed life cycle loop, starting with a recyclable cell
design and continuing with a manufacturing process powered by renewable energy.
The next step is designing cells for a long period of primary use as a drive
battery, possibly followed by a secondary phase as stationary energy storage
At the end of their life cycle, the cells can be recycled and the raw materials
reused, thereby completing the loop. With Northvolt focused on sustainable
production; Umicore as a leader in the development and production of materials
for battery cells and resource recycling, and the BMW Group’s expertise in
material and cell design, it represents a value-chain-wide collaboration that
sees the partners leveraging and complementing each other’s strengths.
With that consortium tackling the development of closed-loop battery cell
design, the new BASF-Eramet-SUEZ partnership will build on that effort with its
closed-loop process and infrastructure for collecting and dismantling these EV
batteries at their end of life.
This value-chain-wide collaboration also supports an efficient and integrated
approach — with SUEZ collecting and dismantling end-of-life batteries; Eramet
developing the recycling process; and BASF manufacturing cathode active
“As a leading cathode active material supplier to battery producers for
electrified vehicles, BASF is confident that recycling will play an increasingly
important role in the roll-out of electromobility,” said Daniel Schönfelder,
VP of Business Management at BASF Battery Materials Europe. “We are
committed to foster an innovative, sustainable and competitive battery value
chain in Europe together with partners and will contribute our expertise in
cathode material production to the project.”
Academic researchers from Chimie ParisTech and the Norwegian University of
Science and Technology will support the members to accelerate the search for
solutions. The industrial members will also be backed by the automotive sector,
as part of the advisory committee.
The development of new European lithium-ion battery recycling capabilities will
make it possible to respond to the strong growth of this market in the coming
years and to the issue of securing Europe’s supply of raw materials required for
its energy transition. Moreover, the virtuous recycling process meets the
essential challenges of sustainable performance through its savings on raw
“We are proud to bring our expertise and contribute to the recovery of
end-of-life battery components through this partnership. Around 50,000 tons of
batteries are expected to be recycled by 2027 in Europe and it could be
multiplied almost tenfold by 2035. With the ReLieVe project, SUEZ is supporting
the development of alternatives approaches that blend circular solutions with
sustainable urban mobility,” added Jean-Marc Boursier, SUEZ COO and Senior
Executive VP Group in charge of Northern Europe and IWS Europe.
The recovery of nickel,
manganese and lithium elements into battery-quality products is at the center of
Eramet Group’s current R&D developments.
“The ReLieVe project responds to the European Commission’s appeal to unite
European players to position itself in the fast-growing lithium-ion battery
market,” said Laurent Joncourt, Chairman of Eramet Ideas, the Group’s
R&D Center. “Thanks to this funding, the ReLieVe project will be able to
accelerate its work and progress towards the construction of a lithium-ion
battery recycling sector with an innovative and competitive process on a
Along with capital from the three members, ReLieVe will receive €4.7 million in
funding from EIT RawMaterials — the largest
consortium in the raw materials sector worldwide, initiated and funded by the
European Union; whose mission is to enable sustainable competitiveness of the
European minerals, metals and materials sector along the value chain by driving
innovation, education and entrepreneurship.
Published Oct 15, 2019 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 1pm BST / 2pm CEST
This article, produced in cooperation with the Sustainable Brands editorial team, has been paid for by one of our sponsors.