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Nottingham battery specialists join recycling REBELION

The UK-based Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has become part of a £4.5 million (EUR 5.1 million) research project to establish a process to recycle or reuse electric vehicle batteries.

Kicking off the university’s efforts to advance battery recycling is a grant of £582 000. Researchers at Nottingham’s Advanced Design and Manufacturing Engineering Centre will use it to support the pan-European REBELION R&D project, which is hoped to prevent up to nine million tons of battery waste being landfilled each year.

Recent data shows that with reconditioning, the majority of electric vehicle batteries would be able to last another ten years after their capacity has fallen below 75%. At the moment, however, the majority of lithium-ion batteries are typically sent to landfill or incinerated. Researchers urge that many of the first generation electric vehicles will soon reach their end of life.

The R&D venture, which is funded by the EU’s Horizon programme and incorporates 11 organisations from across Europe, aims to establish a major source of recycled lithium-ion on the continent.

The main objectives of REBELION are:

  • Technology to sort used batteries into those suitable for a ‘second life’ and those which should be recycled
  • Automated methods to dismantle batteries so that they can be recycled more efficiently
  • A safety protocol for the recycling and reusing process and designing safety box containers for safe battery transportation and storage
  • A standardised labelling system to provide data on second life batteries
  • An analysis of how well the proposed models of recycling and repurposing perform
  • A roadmap to the market for individual and joint business models

The NTU team will develop the information communication technology platform and infrastructure. Its specialists will also develop methods in relation to traceability of batteries, digital battery passports, eco-labelling and the calculation of eco-cost and eco-savings.

Lastly, the R&D team will contribute to repurposing second life batteries in lighting products.

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