Northvolt produces first fully recycled battery cell

25 November 2021, 02:47:10

Northvolt produces first fully recycled battery cellNorthvolt announced that its recycling program, Revolt, has produced its first lithium-ion battery cell featuring a nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathode produced with metals recovered through the recycling of battery waste.

Uniquely, all recycling and production processes were completed on a single site, at Northvolt Labs in Västerås, Sweden. The development stands as a breakthrough for the battery industry and a milestone for Northvolt in its mission to establish a sustainable supply of batteries to support the decarbonization of society.

Recycled nickel, manganese and cobalt metals used in the battery cell were recovered from battery waste through a low-energy hydrometallurgical treatment which involves the use of an aqueous solution to isolate the metals and separate them from impurities.

Having proven the validity and efficiency of its recycling process, Northvolt now turns attention to the scaling-up of recycling capacities to fulfil its aim of producing cells with 50% recycled material by 2030.

To secure this, Revolt Ett, the company's first giga-scale recycling plant under development adjacent to Northvolt Ett gigafactory in Skellefteå, Sweden, will be expanded beyond its initial design to enable recycling of 125,000 tons of batteries per year.

With construction beginning in Q1 2022 and operations in 2023, the recycling plant will receive incoming material for recycling from two sources: end-of-life batteries from electric vehicles and production scrap from Northvolt Ett.

In addition to becoming Europe's largest battery recycling plant, Revolt Ett will be the only large-scale facility in Europe capable of recycling lithium in addition to nickel, manganese, cobalt and other metals. Recovered materials from Revolt Ett will supply neighboring Northvolt Ett cell manufacturing gigafactory with recycled metals sufficient for 30 GWh of battery production per year (half of Northvolt Ett's total annual cell output).

Alongside direct delivery of nickel, manganese, cobalt and lithium metals into Northvolt battery production processes, Revolt Ett will recover copper, aluminium and plastics from the batteries and materials it recycles – all of which will be recirculated back into manufacturing flows through local third-parties.

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