Bosch develops Europe’s first fully automated battery discharge system

Bosch develops Europe’s first fully automated battery discharge system

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Economic recycling of vehicle batteries involves discharging them electrically. Together with partners, Bosch has automated this process and made it suitable for large-scale production. Even the residual energy is used in the process.

By 2030, electric cars are expected to account for around 70 % of all newly registered passenger cars in Europe. The growing number of electric cars is accompanied by an increasing demand for batteries. This means that the recycling of batteries from end-of-life vehicles is moving closer to the recovery of the raw materials they contain, such as lithium, cobalt or nickel. Bosch has developed special machines, systems and software for this purpose. Its subsidiary Bosch Rexroth is now supplying the Battery Lifecycle Company, a joint venture between TSR Recycling and Rhenus Automotive, with the first fully automated system for unloading and dismantling battery modules in Europe.

“Electromobility can only establish itself in the long term if sufficient raw materials are available for the production of batteries. Recycling plays a key role and helps to place our value creation on a sustainable foundation: What we use, we reuse and recover raw materials,” says Bosch CEO Dr Stefan Hartung. Experts predict that recycling capacities for up to 420,000 tonnes of battery material per year will be needed in Europe by 2030. In order to build a European circular economy, it is therefore essential to build the recycling aspect into the life cycle of products from the outset – and to create the necessary infrastructure for this, Hartung explained further. “If we want to build a European circular economy, we have to integrate recycling firmly into the life cycle of products and create the necessary infrastructure for it. Bosch is contributing with its technical expertise,” said Hartung.

Bosch estimates that the batteries currently installed in vehicles will reach the end of their life in ten to 15 years. According to Steffen Haack, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bosch Rexroth AG, this window of opportunity must be used to build the necessary recycling capacities. According to the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, the necessary plant technology will require investments of more than € 6 billion by 2040 in Europe alone: With optimal recycling, up to 95 % of the chemical elements can be reintroduced into the battery production process. The automated electrical discharge of the batteries developed by Bosch Rexroth not only simplifies recycling, it also increases efficiency and enhances safety: modules can be deep discharged in just a few minutes. The system recognises different battery types, minimising risks such as short circuits and fires.

£27m for next generation solid state silicon battery materials and recycling

Renault plans extensive reorganization – and massive digitisation

Europe’s first fully automated system for this purpose is currently being built at the Battery Lifecycle Company’s site in Magdeburg. Bosch Rexroth is supplying the technology for this. Used batteries from different manufacturers will be tested, deep-discharged and prepared for subsequent shredding on site. Within less than 15 minutes, eight lithium-ion batteries from electric cars can be automatically discharged. With this solution, Bosch significantly increases the speed of recycling: with the current manual process, it takes up to 24 hours before the batteries are fully discharged. The Bosch discharge solution is being used for the first time in the model project in Magdeburg: Battery modules are chemically inactivated in a process-safe manner, and further processing can take place without voltage. Even the residual energy in the battery modules intended for shredding is recycled: it is used to operate the plant.

Up to 15 000 tonnes of battery material are to be recycled annually at the Battery Lifecycle Company site. Commissioning of the plant is planned for summer 2023.

Bosch Industrietechnik will present its approach to battery recycling at the Hannover Messe (17 – 21 April 2023).

Related articles:

EU to form €20bn critical materials hub

Italy is biggest e-waste hoarder in Europe

EU to model Critcial Raw Materials Act on CHIPS Act

Northvolt signs deal for sustainable lignin carbon battery anodes



If you enjoyed this article, you will like the following ones: don't miss them by subscribing to :    eeNews on Google News


Linked Articles