Three companies in Finland have signed a cooperation agreement on battery recycling for electric vehicles.
Fortum, BASF, and Nornickel have signed a letter of intent to plan a battery recycling cluster in Harjavalta, Finland, serving the electric vehicle market. This would enable a “closed loop” cluster of companies to re-use the critical metals in used batteries.
Using metals from recycled batteries signficantly reduces the environmental impact of producing of electric vehicles, and there are additinal benefits from using electricity from renewable sources in Finland for the recycling process itself.
“By recycling valuable metals in lithium-ion batteries we reduce the environmental impact of electric car batteries by complementing the supply of cobalt, nickel and other critical metals from primary sources. Through our previous acquisition of a Finnish growth company Crisolteq, an expert in low CO2 hydrometallurgical processing, we are very proud that Fortum is now able to increase the recovery rate of valuable materials in lithium-ion batteries from half to over 80 per cent,” said Tero Holländer, Head of Business Development, Fortum Recycling and Waste.
BASF intends to use recycled materials from the processes developed by its partners to supply its planned battery materials precursor plant in Harjavalta, Finland.
“The combination of battery materials production and recycling enables the circular economy by closing the loop,” said Tim Ingle, Vice President, Precious Metals Refining, Chemicals & Battery Recycling at BASF. “To drive electrification, we are focused on bringing solutions for high energy density cathode active materials and high efficiency lithium extraction for battery recycling.”
The aim is to create a cluster of expertise in materials and technologies.
“A modern recycling unit next to Nornickel Harjavalta would further strengthen its position as one of the most sustainable nickel refineries in the world. This setup is ideal for sustainable processing of two of the main metals used in Li-ion batteries. Development of recycling solutions will not only support Nornickel’s strategy of further lowering its CO2 footprint and improving sustainability, but it is also essential to enable the industry to meet the growing demand of critical metals in the electric vehicle sector,” says Joni Hautojärvi, Managing Director, Nornickel Harjavalta.
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