Skip to main content

Finnish initiative to solve critical metals scarcity

Chemical giant BASF, energy supplier Fortum and mining group Nornickel plan to establish a battery recycling network to serve the electric vehicle market. The goal is to create a closed loop for the reuse of the critical metals contained in used batteries.

By recycling valuable metals from lithium-ion batteries, the trio wants to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing the batteries. The recovered raw materials will supplement the supply of cobalt, nickel and other critical metals from primary sources.

Through its earlier acquisition of Crisolteq, Fortum managed to ‘increase the recovery rate of recyclable materials in lithium-ion batteries from 50 to over 80%’. Meanwhile, BASF is building its first site for the production of cathode materials for the European automotive market in Harjavalta, Finland. The Russian miner Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) operates a refinery nearby.

In a letter of intent from the partners,BASF says it will strive to use recycled materials from the processes developed by the other two companies as part of the cooperation at the Harjavalta plant. They want to ensure that the recycling process uses electricity from renewable sources.

‘The combination of battery materials production and recycling enables the circular economy by closing the loop,’ says Tim Ingle, vice president for precious metals refining, chemicals and battery recycling at BASF. ‘We are focused on bringing solutions for high energy density cathode active materials and high-efficiency lithium extraction for battery recycling.’

He notes that BASF’s investment in the Finnish plant is part of a multi-stage investment plan worth EUR 400 million that the company announced in 2017.

Would you like to share any interesting developments or article ideas with us? Don't hesitate to contact us.

You might find this interesting too

Declines across all US scrap exports in April
Funding success for cutting-edge magnet recycling pioneers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe now and get a full year for just €136 (normal rate is €170) Subscribe
Share your shear stories and win a GoPro!

It’s safe to say that scrap shears are the pillars of the recycling industry. But which configurations are the future? Take part in our tech survey and get a shot at winning a cool GoPro camera!

Thousands of scrap shears are driving recycling businesses all over the world. When it comes to different types, an operator may opt for maximum tonnage or flexibility, such as a mobile set-up. An integrated baling system is also gaining popularity. Ultimately, there is no wrong or right shear; it comes down to how you’re going to use it.

Our survey is meant to map the wants and needs of today’s dynamic recycling industry. Voice your opinion here and, who knows, you may be able to capture your recycling facility in action in HD.