Innovations in recycling technologies for sustainable lifecycle of battery metals
Outotec as a technology company with solutions and products both for recycling of raw materials and for different type of metallurgical unit processing is well positioned to support and develop the projects rising from the rapidly increasing requirement of getting end-of-life batteries recycled sustainably.
Challenges in recycling batteries
Recycling of batteries and the raw materials held within them is foreseen to grow significantly within the next ten years, driven especially by the life cycle of the batteries used for the strongly growing electric mobility. Significant work will be needed in the whole chain of recycle to meet the economic and technological challenges and increase efficiency in the recovery and recycle of all valuable elements. New operating models like reuse of batteries for other less intensive consumers (commonly called "second life") will also affect the business that will evolve around used batteries, but will not remove the eventual need for recycling the key raw materials.
Innovations within the whole recycling value chain will be needed
Current operators base the metallurgical recycling on two primary routes;
- Pyrometallurgical treatment followed by hydrometallurgical processes to produce new metallic products on the market
- Direct hydrometallurgical treatment for the completely sorted and separated battery components.
It is likely that the future will also consist of recycling plants operating based on these main routes, even if business models, costs of processing and economic value of the raw materials contained in the batteries will drive operators and businesses through different processing paths. As the variance in the type, end use and chemistries of batteries will grow, also room for different type of processing alternatives will grow on the market.
Outotec as a technology company with solutions and products both for recycling of raw materials and for different type of metallurgical unit processing is well positioned to support and develop the projects rising from the increased requirement for getting the batteries recycled sustainably.
Outotec and Aalto University are leading the research on battery recycling.
Processing routes for recycled battery metals