A research project named ‘Automotive Battery Recycling 2020’ launched by the German Fraunhofer Institute and funded by the EU is to identify ‘efficient and environmentally sound’ recycling practices for car batteries.
Efficient recycling requires closed loops and logistic solutions capable of growing along with the fast increasing numbers of batteries from electric cars vehicles fleet, claims the Fraunhofer Project Group for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies IWKS.
The researchers will analyse every aspect within the battery recycling chain; from the collection of waste batteries to all available materials separation, and from recovery methods up to the re-use of recycled materials in new batteries.
‘AutoBatRec 2020’ aims to get insight into the efficiency, economic feasibility and overall sustainability of existing processes and then recompose these into ‘a truly smart and economically attractive value chain’ bringing battery recycling to the next level.
The researchers will analyse excisting mechanical crushing and shredding methods as well as new electrohydraulic solutions which can be combined with sophisticated sorting technology. ‘In addition, we will develop concepts for the re-use of battery components as a whole instead of individual material fractions in order to boost both efficiency and profitability of materials cycles,’ says Dr. Andreas Bittner, head of New Business Development at Fraunhofer.
One of the most challenging problems for the researchers is the diversity of the many battery systems on the market today all ending up in the same waste stream and making automated sorting and separation complex.