VW launches EV battery recycling pilot

Up to 3,600 battery systems to be recycled per year during initial pilot phase

VW launches EV battery recycling pilot

Volkswagen Group Components has opened the Group’s first plant for recycling electric car batteries in Salzgitter.

The pilot operation aims to industrialise the recovery of valuable raw materials such as lithium, nickel, manganese and cobalt in a closed loop together with aluminium, copper and plastics, achieving a recycling rate of more than 90 per cent over the long term.

The Salzgitter plant only recycles batteries that can no longer be used for other purposes.

Before the battery is recycled, an analysis determines whether the battery is still powerful enough to be given a second life in mobile energy storage systems such as the flexible rapid charging station or the mobile charging robot, for example.

Related: Growing number of drivers consider going electric for next car, report finds

The plant has been designed to initially recycle up to 3,600 battery systems per year during the pilot phase – this is the equivalent to approximately 1,500 tonnes.

Larger volumes of battery returns are not expected until the late 2020s at the earliest.

In future, the system can be scaled up to handle larger quantities as the process is consistently optimised.

Disassembly | The battery systems are disconnected from all add-on parts and disassembled into their individual modules.

Thomas Schmall, member of the board of management at Volkswagen AG, technical division, and chairman of the board of management at Volkswagen Group Components said: “Volkswagen Group Components has achieved a further step in its sustainable end-to-end responsibility for the battery as a key component of electric mobility.

“We are implementing the sustainable recyclable materials cycle – and play a pioneering role in the industry for a future-oriented issue with great potential for climate protection and raw material supply.”

Related: Volvo to triple electric production capacity in response to strong electrified car sales

The innovative and CO2-saving recycling process does not require energy-intensive melting in a blast furnace.

The used battery systems are delivered, deep discharged, and dismantled.

The individual parts are ground into granules in the shredder and then dried. In addition to aluminium, copper and plastics, the process also yields valuable “black powder”, which contains the important raw materials for batteries such as lithium, nickel, manganese, and cobalt, as well as graphite.

The raw materials obtained can be reused in a closed loop recycling process.

The separation and processing of the individual substances by hydrometallurgical processes ‒ using water and chemical agents ‒ is subsequently carried out by specialised partners.

“As a consequence, essential components of old battery cells can be used to produce new cathode material,” explains Mark Möller, head of the business unit technical development and e-mobility.

“From research, we know that recycled battery raw materials are just as efficient as new ones.

Related: BMW to industrialise 3D printing

“In future, we intend to support our battery cell production with the material we recover.

“Given that the demand for batteries and the corresponding raw materials will increase drastically, we can put every gram of recycled material to good use.”

The CO2 savings are calculated at approximately 1.3 tonnes per 62 kWh battery manufactured using cathodes made from recycled material and using green electricity.

Related: Hyundai and Ineos agree collaboration to push hydrogen fuel cell EVs

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  • #207717 Reply

    Volkswagen Group Components has opened the Group’s first plant for recycling electric car batteries in Salzgitter. The pilot operation aims to industr
    [See the full post at: VW launches EV battery recycling pilot]

    #207797 Reply

    Sorry, I seem to be missing something. Offical advise from
    Imi approved places has “ALWAYS not to disassemble” even “Jonny 5”
    Says “do not disassemble”.

    So if batteries are being recycled your basically buying second hand
    Parts which have been thrown away.

    3600 in pilot phase, shhesh so how many when fully running?

    As for “recycling” it would be nice if someone spent HOURS AND HOURS
    stripping cells out, loaded them up into the shredder for it to flash
    “COMPONENT PROTECTION ACTIVE” thus requiring on line coding to unpair
    The faulty cells from a scrapped VIN.

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