Workstream 4: Recycling and Sustainability

This WS aims to develop and offer highly efficient recycling solutions in compliance with sustainability and life-cycle assessments for batteries in terms of tracking, collecting and dismantling of LIBs and post-LIBs until recovering of relevant metals. Therefore, the aim is to develop a process that ensures a circular material flow making battery cell manufacturers more independent from critical raw materials. Furthermore, the sustainability is checked in the context of ethics and human rights, especially for the mining of raw materials. Traceability activities within this WS aim to convert this current state-of-the-art into asset by generating mechanisms favouring sustainable raw material production. Solutions and certification schemes for traceability should enable verifying the chain of custody, location and history of an item by documented identification.

In particular, new developments of batteries must be examined for their recyclability. The developments of new materials and prototypes must be tested for recyclability theoretically and practically. Changed chemistry and structure leads to changed recyclability and suitability of existing recycling processes and waste management systems. These activities must be coordinated and integrated with the other WS. The end-of-life considerations should already be integrated into the planning process of the recycling plant construction.

This WS will also address the development of systems that foster the circular economy and the re-use of the batteries for other second-life applications different from the ones they were devised for. Furthermore, the developments of either communication protocols which facilitate second life re-use channels or sustainable BMS design for extra vehicular applications such as Pack to Grid and Vehicle to Grid are addressed.

Another focus is the construction of suitable and safe unloading, testing and disassembly infrastructure in the form of pilot plants. In this context, the development of the required processes, test routines and standardization is significant.

As a result of this WS, new, first-in-kind collection, dismantling, repurposing, recycling and refining processes will be developed, allowing to effectively recycle LIBs, HBS, ultracapacitors and other waste containing metals important for e-mobility.

IPCEI Partner




ENEA is the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, a public body aimed at research, technological innovation, and the provision of advanced services to businesses, public administration, and citizens. His sectors of interest are energy technologies (renewable sources, energy storage, smart grids).


ENEA's primary objective will be to develop electrochemically active materials, characterized by greater capacity and efficiency. Not only is the activity aimed at creating lighter and longer-lasting systems, but also to find solutions that are safe for users and for the environment and fundamentally cheaper than current storage technologies. Additionally, the Advanced Battery Laboratory (AB-Lab) will be built to assist the industry. The AB-LAb is conceived as a flexible and multipurpose platform where it is possible to carry out the entire production process for the creation of newly developed batteries, optimized end-of-life management, and innovative recycling.

Enel X

Enel X, Enel Group’s global business line, is a leader in the energy sector, offering services that accelerate innovation and boost the energy transition.


Through its advanced solutions, Enel X provides each partner with an ecosystem of tech platforms and consulting services, focusing on sustainability and circular economy principles in order to provide an alternative model that respects the environment and integrates technological innovation into daily life. Each solution has the power to turn decarbonization, electrification and digitalization goals into sustainable actions for everyone.

Description of the projects

Enel X is proposing 3 projects:
•    High Power Chargers for EVs with Battery Storage, with innovative and flexible architecture also for providing grid services, and with some sites equipped with second life batteries
•    Advanced SW for optimally managing Battery Energy Storage systems, also applied to second life batteries,
•    Recycling of EV and stationary batteries: R&D&I activities on advanced automatization,  optimization of processes, definition of best practice for optimally managing exhausted batteries


ENGITEC Technologies S.p.A. is an engineering and contracting company designing and building plants based on its own technologies and processes mainly in the field of non-ferrous metals and is qualified to build small, mid-sized and large industrial plants in-house, from the definition of technology to erection and start-up.


The company’s research and development activity has resulted in development and implementation of unique technologies for recycling and transformation of highly polluting and dangerous wastes.
“Inspiring Innovation” is the key Company Mission of ENGITEC, which is pursued daily by developing recycling technologies to enable efficiency and environmental compliance.

Description of the project

The Engitec project is relevant to the development of a technology for the recycling of all kinds of spent lithium batteries on the market. The project will develop, starting from the research and development phase: a first laboratory plant, a pilot plant to be operated in the facility of our IPCEI partner and to show to the stakeholders, scale-up engineering, a first industrial plant up to the construction of other industrial plants.



Fortum Oyj is a leading clean-energy company that provides its customers with electricity, heating and cooling as well as smart solutions to improve resource efficiency and recycling.


Fortum wants to engage its customers and society at large to join the change for a cleaner world. Fortum is a LE.

Description of the project

The aim of the project is a first industrial deployment of a comprehensive battery recycling service concept. The project comprises the digital tools for battery state-of-healt analysis, 2nd life application, safe logistics and mechanical recycling process for end-of-life batteries. The concept maximizes the value of a battery after the first life phase and ensures the efficient recycling of the battery components.



Established for more than 30 years in Engis near Liège (Belgium), HYDROMETAL is a major recycling and recovery centre for a very wide range of materials (over 70,000t / year), by-products or complex residues containing non-ferrous metals, in particular: Zn, Ni, Cu, Pb, Sn, Co, other minor metals, precious metals and rare earths.


Hydrometal's expertise is based on different hydrometallurgical processes, unique in the world, which consume very little energy and generate only small amounts of CO2 and ultimate waste.

Its industrial activity is strongly linked to the Zn element with the production pure Zn salts. The recycling of Co, Ni and Li is also part of its know-how.

Description of the project

Hydrometal’s project is an innovative alternative to the state-of-the-art techniques. It offers:

  • An improved and innovative full hydrometallurgical recycling process for the “black mass” coming from pre-treatment of spent Li-ion battery, that allow multi-elements recovery including lithium and graphite, that can be integrated as secondary raw materials in existing production lines.
  • An original way to recover Co that consumes less energy than pyrometallurgical processes
  • A Method to improve the global recovery yield of all the elements including F, Mn, graphite.

The project of Hydrometal allows to close the recycling loop by carrying out last step of recycling and first step of raw material production, useful for new batteries production.



Italmatch Chemicals

Italmatch Chemicals is a Global Specialty Chemical Group, leader in Phosphorus Derivatives for Flame Retardants, Plastics Additives, Lubricant, Water & Oil, Detergency.


With 17 manufacturing plants worldwide (7 in Europe) and 6 excellence R&D centre, Italmatch is active in mainly 4 sectors:

  1. Performance Products: from specialty phosphorus based derivatives to fatty acid chlorides and esters. Main markets are intermediates for lithium battery electrolytes, precious metal recycling, special mining additives, agrochemicals, pharma and cosmetics
  2. Flame retardants and plastic additives: from red phosphorus to halogen free flame retardants through high spec additives. Main markets are engineering thermoplastics and polyolefins
  3. Lubricant Performance Additives: polymeric and complex esters, phosphorus pentasulfide, amides, EP additives, hydraulic fluids, grease additives and MWF additives. Main markets are intermediates, additives & components for industrial and automotive lubrication and metal working
  4. Advanced Water Solutions: from corrosion inhibitors to removing, recovery and cleaning based on the most innovative chemistry. Main markets are desalination, water treatment, geothermal, O&G, I&I and valuable metals recovery

Description of the project

PARSES aims at developing various phosphorus-based additives, to feed the battery value chain at different levels, through:

  1. WP1- LiPF6 Manufacturing Plant, the first-in-its-kind in Europe (in collaboration with Fluorsid): establishing the first-in-its-kind LiPF6 (Lithium Ion Battery electrolyte precursor) manufacturing pilot plant in Europe, to pave the road for European commercial production, fulfilling the local Li-Ion Battery needs and contribute to the European independency transition.
  2. WP2- All-Solid-State-Lithium-Batteries (ASSLBs) and All-Solid-State-Lithium-Sulphur-Batteries (ASSLSBs)   Material Development Contribution: exploring and setting up a pioneering phosphorus penta-sulphide (P2S5, solid electrolytes precursor) pilot plant in Europe, to feed the solid electrolytes producers inside and outside the Italian context with a suitable material meeting the requirements of the IPCEI  circular battery value chain.
  3. WP3- Nickel, Cobalt, Lithium and other are rare-earth elements recovery from exhausted batteries – Development of new chemistry / co-formulations for a sustainable hydrometallurgy recycling process: developing innovative IoT integrated chemical technologies towards an efficient recovery of Lithium, Cobalt  and Nickel in partnership with several intra-European participants to the initiative, in a concept of circular economy and environmental sustainability




K1-MET’s research work is focused on sustainable and climate-neutral metallurgy. Regarding sustainability and circular economy, the focus is on process development and product quality in ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy as well as closing material cycles by treating and reusing by-products (dusts, slags etc.).


Decarbonization is about demonstrating industrial processes in ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy by using hydrogen. With regards to sector coupling, the conversion of CO2 represents an important aspect (e.g., synthetic methane using hydrogen) to ensure that CO2 becomes a valuable material. Process diagnostics and advanced data analytics coupled with single- and multiphase flow simulation are the cornerstones of another research area aiming at a real-time monitoring of metallurgical processes.

FuLIBatteR stands for "Future Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling for Recovery of Critical Raw Materials" and is dedicated to sustainable recovery of critical raw materials (CRMs) and valuable metals from lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). Its primary objectives include closing the gap in material cycles, establishing an eco-friendly battery value chain, and ensuring a secure supply of raw materials. Innovative physical, pyrometallurgical and bio-hydrometallurgical treatment approaches that surpass conventional techniques will turn waste into valuable secondary raw materials embracing sustainability, reducing CO2 emissions, and driving the EU to the forefront of battery recycling.


Keliber is a Finnish SME aiming at production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide (monohydrate) for the growing Lithium-Ion Battery Industry. Company’s own lithium ore will be used as raw material.


Keliber will utilize sustainable and cost-effective soda pressure leaching technology for hydrometallurgical lithium extraction and lithium hydroxide production. The production is planned to start late 2024 and reach full annual capacity of 15 000 tons of lithium hydroxide monohydrate in 2025 comparable for production of about 25 GWh of lithium-ion batteries.

Description of the project

Keliber’s objective is to develop responsible and sustainable sourcing and processing of primary and secondary lithium resources.





LITTLE ELECTRIC CAR SPAIN is a manufacturer of electric vehicles, battery packs and special projects.


Born in 2008, when the first electric vehicule, the Little4, was designed by engineers from Spain, France and Portugal. Little Spain was established in 2010 as a company specialized in multidisciplinar electric vehicles: delivering, special transport, water electric karts and electrification. Now, Little offers battery packs with its innovative project “2econd life Battery Packs“.

Description of the project

Collection of batteries from differents brands and models of electric vehicules at its end of life, analysis of that batteries, classification according to their state of life and the later use in the construction of new Energy Sotorage Systems. We innovate in three aspects: Creating an automated process, Logistics 4.0, which register the traceability of all components, from scrap yards or workshops to the finished product. Create a systematized process of tests and records of the collected products and third; the development of a specific software for ESS management.



Midac SpA is an Italian company founded in 1989 that produces lead batteries for motive power automotive and stand-by use.


Since 2014, MIDAC SpA has started the design, development, and production of Li-ion batteries, supported by a strong investment plan in the sector. Midac Spa has two manufacturing plants in Italy (Soave VR and Cremona) and subsidiaries operating in Germany, France, UK, Ireland, Sweden, and Australia. Today Midac is among the European leaders in the production of motive power batteries.

Description of the project

Midac Spa aims the creation of a truly circular value chain regarding the manufacturing and recovery of lithium batteries. MIDAC project cover three IPCEI Work Streams:WS2, WS3 and WS4. Starting from the collection of spent LiBs, MIDAC will be sorting modules/cells for “second use” or “direct recycling”. Through the construction of a recycling plant, MIDAC will obtain raw materials to produce new cells to manufacture “First life” battery pack to be sold it in the industrial field. Using the sorted modules/cells, “second life” batteries will be manufactured to be sold in the energy storage field.


SGL Carbon

We are leaders in the development and manufacture of products based on carbon, graphite, carbon fibers, and fiber-reinforced composites.

Germany, Poland

In partnership with our customers, we develop intelligent, trendsetting, and sustainable solutions that deliver a clear benefit. With our in-depth material, engineering, and application know-how, we make a substantial contribution to the major future topics mobility, energy, and digitization.

Description of the project

With the development and industrialization of novel manufacturing processes and recycling concepts for innovative anode materials, SGL Carbon aims to make an essential contribution to establishing a sustainable and competitive European value chain and circular economy for lithium-ion batteries. The EU climate targets will be significantly supported by the resulting improved carbon footprint, reduced material and energy use, and increased battery lifetime.

Valmet Automotive

The Valmet Automotive Group is one of the largest vehicle contract manufacturers in the world, In its strategic development,


Valmet Automotive Group focuses on electromobility with developing and supplying modules as well as battery systems. The EV Systems business line illustrates the revolution taking currently place in automotive and industrial off-high way application sectors – electrification is sweeping the industry, and the demand for EV systems, especially battery packs, is soaring.

Description of the project

With VA Industrial Battery Innovation Center initiative VA will create and engineer equipment electrification solutions to support industrial customers with product design capabilities to successfully implement an electric drivetrain. Implementing common platforms and modularity in product design, battery production and life-cycle management will provide the systemic design approach, which will be needed to meet the requirements and customization needs of harsh use equipment manufacturers.




ZTS – VÝSKUM A VÝVOJ is a research, development, and engineering company with tradition in energy engineering, especially in water and nuclear sectors.


The history of research and development in the company is linked to the extensive production program of the Czechoslovak engineering group ZTS with more than 50-year tradition. Since 1997, when it has been transformed into its present form, its program has been focused on design of modernization, reconstruction, and overhaul of technological equipment of water powerplants, and design and construction documentation of equipment.

Description of the project

The project deals with the production of battery modules from used electric vehicle batteries. When the battery capacity drops below 80%, the comfort of using EV decreases due to further charging and shorter range. The batteries are becoming less suitable for further use in electromobility, however, could be used again in less dynamic applications. The project solves this problem by developing a device for the automatic regeneration of EV batteries. The product of the project is a regenerated battery module of 2nd life, with guaranteed parameters, designed for stationary use.


Overview of the IPCEI EuBatIn Work Streams