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Umicore unveils battery recycling facility in Belgium

Belgium – Materials technology group Umicore has inaugurated its new recycling facility for rechargeable batteries at Hoboken in Belgium.

More than 300 guests – including many dignitaries from Europe and further afield – attended the ceremony.

It was at the end of 2009 that Umicore announced its intended Euro 25 million investment in a battery recycling plant with an initial annual capacity of 7000 tonnes – equivalent to some 150 000 (hybrid) electric vehicle batteries or 250 million mobile phone batteries. This market is expected to gain momentum, driven by a combination of intensifying recycling legislation, continuous growth in the portable electronics market, and an increasing share of hybrid and electric vehicles on the roads.

The innovative recycling process employs Umicore’s patented Ultra High Temperature (UHT) smelting technology which is said to offer a cost-efficient and environmentally sound recycling route with the highest recovery rates and minimal waste. The facility will enable Umicore to offer a range of new recycling services including a closed materials loop for battery producers. In addition, the technology will permit Umicore to test its suitability for recycling other new streams of materials.


Read more about this story in Recycling International’s September issue.

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