Aurubis launches pilot plant for battery recycling in Hamburg
Image by Aurubis AG.
March 18 (Renewables Now) - German copper producer Aurubis AG (ETR:NDA) has started the operation of a pilot plant for the recycling of lithium-ion batteries which will allow for the reuse of valuable metals from already dismantled batteries and unveiled a plan to invest EUR 200 million (USD 221m) in an industrial-scale factory.
After conducting extensive lab-scale tests of the process, the German group has commissioned the extraction of metals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese and graphite from the black mass -- the residue resulting from the shreds of dismantled lithium-ion batteries.
Through a hydrometallurgical process, these valuable metals will be recovered and then used again for the manufacturing of new batteries. Aurubis claims that the process allows for the recovery of metals at very high yields.
Once the pilot project is successfully completed, the copper producer will pour about EUR 200 million to build an industrial-scale battery recycling plant within the next five years.
Aurubis seeks to play a leading role in the battery recycling market which is gaining significance amid rising demand for lithium-ion batteries and the raw materials required for their production, said chief executive Roland Harings.
Apart from battery recycling, the company, which is one of Europe's leading copper producers and among the world's largest copper recyclers, is building a facility in Belgium that will process electrolyte and extract elements such as nickel which is a key metal for electric vehicles.
Anna is a DACH expert when it comes to covering business news and spotting trends. She has also built a deep understanding of Middle Eastern markets and has helped expand Renewables Now's reach into this hot region.