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.