The “Recycling Li-ion batteries for electric Vehicle” (ReLieVe) project was founded by Eramet, BASF, and SUEZ 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. ReLieVe will receive a funding of €4.7 million by EIT Raw Materials and the three members.
EIT Raw Materials was initiated and funded by the EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology), a body of the European Union. Its mission is to enable sustainable competitiveness of the European minerals, metals and materials sector along the value chain by driving innovation, education, and entrepreneurship.
As of January 2020, and over two years, SUEZ will be responsible for collection and dismantling of end-of-life batteries; Eramet for the development of the recycling process; and BASF for the manufacturing of cathode active materials. Academic researchers from Chimie ParisTech, France, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, will support the members, as well as the automotive sector that will be part of the advisory committee.
The development of 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 secure Europe’s supply of raw materials required for its energy transition. Moreover, the recycling process meets the essential challenges of sustainable performance through its savings on raw materials. The recovery of nickel, cobalt, manganese and lithium elements into battery-quality products is at the center of Eramet Group’s current R&D developments. Around 50,000 tons of batteries are expected to be recycled by 2027.