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Aurubis expects full battery recycling within five years

The Aurubis plant in Hamburg from the air: Here, production is being commissioned in a new pilot plant after the successful conclusion of extensive lab-scale tests of the battery recycling process.

Aurubis is pressing ahead with battery recycling with production at a new pilot plant at its Hamburg site in Germany commissioned after extensive lab-scale tests of the process.

The plant has a modular structure and will extract valuable metals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and graphite from ‘black mass’ in a hydrometallurgical process, with high yields. Black mass is a powdery residue that forms when lithium-ion batteries are dismantled and shredded.

‘Battery recycling is gaining strong significance due to growth in electric vehicles and the swift increase in demand for lithium-ion batteries and the raw materials required to produce them,’ says Aurubis ceo Roland Harings. ‘We have the long-standing metallurgical expertise necessary to be a key trailblazer for the mobility shift with our metals and process solutions.’

Harings adds that a responsible approach to resources and closing the cycle of valuable metals for electric vehicles are important factors for the investment and recycling is seen as a strategic driver of growth for Aurubis. After the pilot phase, Aurubis plans a plant on an industrial scale from an expected investment of approximately € 200 million.

‘I’m firmly convinced that Aurubis will commission an industrial-scale battery recycling plant within the next five years,’ Harings asserts.

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