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‘First’ global recycling service for lithium-ion batteries

German ALBA Group subsidiary Interseroh and the Saubermacher recycling company have established a joint venture for the collection and recycling of lithium-ion batteries. Claimed to be the first global take-back system, SIMPLi RETURN serves both manufacturers and distributors of lithium-ion batteries for the industrial sector and all types of electronic vehicles.

‘We are creating a unique, high-grade, vertically integrated provider in the future lithium-ion battery market,’ says Dr Timo Langemann, a member of the Interseroh management team. ‘Together with Saubermacher, we offer our customers a comprehensive, worry-free package which fully takes into account the challenging recycling in this sector.’

Rapid growth

The volume of lithium-ion batteries is increasing year on year with a double-digit growth rate. ‘If you only take into account the electric vehicle sector, the demand for lithium-ion batteries in 2015 was 205 million cells,’ says Saubermacher board representative Ralf Mittermayr. ‘In 2020, this demand will increase with 37% to 1,8 million units.’

Brand new facility

Collected batteries are handled at Saubermacher’s recently opened plant at Bremerhaven in north Germany. The facility has the capacity to process 10 000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries per year. Euro 3 million has been invested in the plant.

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