RESPECT project: Paving the way for a sustainable European battery industry

4 mins read
respect project, round economy, batteries, hydrometallurgy
Battery innovation for cleaner, greener, electric vehicles, lithium respect project, round economy, batteries, hydrometallurgy

In order to support the growth of a dynamic, round, and long-lasting European battery manufacturing industry, the RESPECT project suggests an innovative solution for recycling various battery ranges.

The RESPECT project is a revolutionary force in recycling lithium-ion electric vehicle ( EV ) batteries as the European Union experiences an unprecedented surge in the adoption of emission-free electrification. The need for effective, secure, and long-lasting battery recycling procedures has never been greater than it is now that 30 million EVs are expected to adorn Union roads by 2030.

18 partners from nine Western nations have teamed up for a ground-breaking initiative aimed at revolutionizing the battery recycling process after realizing this challenge. Interdisciplinary partners are gathered for the RESPECT project, which suggests a comprehensive strategy for addressing problems and opportunities related to the battery ecosystem.

The RESPECT project, which is managed by Orano Mining, is supported by the Batteries European Partnership&nbsp, ( BATT4EU), as well as the Horizon Europe Research and Innovation program. The goal of the project is to transform the battery recycling landscape by implementing a novel pre-treatment procedure, double extraction routes, and an emphasis on maximizing material value.

1,100+ Lithium Ion Battery Recycling Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free  Images - iStock

A novel approach to accelerating Europe’s round economy: sustainable battery recycling

The main objective of the RESPECT project is to assist the expanding lithium-ion battery manufacturing sector. To improve the corporate autonomy, global competitiveness, and circularity of the European battery industry, this entails developing cutting-edge green recycling material recovery processes that are all incorporated into a comprehensive four-year work plan.

The development of a worldwide agile, versatile, and secure lithium-ion battery recycling process at the module level is the main goal of RESPECT’s mission. Important pre-treatment steps, such as secure opening techniques, novel module deactivation, and cutting-edge technologies facilitating access to effective materials, are included in this all-encompassing approach. Full hydrometallurgy and clear recycling are both included in the recycling process, which makes use of both new and existing process units. By incorporating cutting-edge and environmentally friendly innovations, the project hopes to achieve a recovery rate/efficiency that is above 90 % for all materials and above 95 % for critical raw materials like nickel or cobalt.

The main goal of the RESPECT project is to end the recycling of lithium-ion batteries. This is to be accomplished by creating, developing, and putting into practice alternative recycling procedures that are based on the following two principles:

Steps before treatment and the entire approach using hydrometallurgy

An impressive pre-treatment method that is adaptable and worthy of treating a variety of feedstocks, including batteries and End of Life modules as well as scraps with various chemistries, geometry, and states of charge. The pre-treatment entails a destructive deactivation process followed by successive separation and recovery, enabling the production of high-quality dark mass as well as the recovery and valorisation of graphite, copper, and aluminum. For the recovery from dark mass and production of battery-grade salts, such as nickel, cobalt, iron, and lithium, it is essential to use full hydrometallurgical processes that take into account safety, health, environmental concerns.

Strong route for recycling materials

The RESPECT project likewise looks into how effective materials are recycled directly. It is a cutting-edge recycling strategy that aims to restore the damaged cathode material’s composition and structure to its original state. In terms of a small CO2 footprint, decreased energy consumption, and the ability to recover various cathode materials, the strong recycling route eliminates the hydrometallurgical steps and offers many benefits.

The performance of the recycling process is evaluated by the production and testing of brand-new cathodes and anode materials, which use recycled materials from RESPECT processes, at the cell level.

RESPECT for the novel legal requirements

The EU depends on secure access to essential raw materials ( CRM ), especially those for batteries made of lithium, cobalt, and nickel, in order to achieve climate neutrality and strategic autonomy. R&amp, D efforts to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of recycling technology are being driven by the RESPECT project in collaboration with BATT4EU. This reduces supply risks and serves as a significant financial catalyst for the growth of battery recycling initiatives.

The European Union has adopted a new regulation ( the so-called Battery Regulation ) in response to the growing significance of battery recycling. It requires that all batteries gathered be recycled, with fresh batteries having a set minimum of recovered content. The goals set for 2031 call for cobalt, lithium, and nickel to each have a minimum of 16 % recovered content. By aligning itself with these goals, the RESPECT project enables the EU to lead the way in decarbonizing its road transportation industry. The RESPECT project will show that the German objectives are feasible by producing and testing new cells, including recovered materials.

The RESPECT project has a strong commitment to the ecosystem of batteries.

The RESPECT project aims to contribute positively to the search for environmentally friendly battery recycling options. It aims to support the growth of a more resilient and environmentally friendly battery supply chain and contribute to the German battery industry with its goals and strategies. The RESPECT project emphasizes the value of innovation and collaboration in achieving a more lasting future in line with the global shift toward sanitized and brighter future.

RESPECT has established an External Advisory Board to make sure the project moves forward and offers effective solutions to the battery ecosystem. The members in question include DUPONT, a company that specializes in materials and solutions based on cutting-edge technologies, the international battery manufacturer SAFT, and the battery recycler AKKUSER, as well as the Chinese mechanical association JAPIA. They provide insightful suggestions and advice, giving the project an additional layer of knowledge and supervision.

An effective player in the battery value chain is the RESPECT project. RESPECT is a component of the Cluster Hub Production of battery organic materials from European resources, along with 13 EU-funded projects. The Cluster Hub is a platform for knowledge exchange where the partners of various EU-funded projects find common ground, talk about problems and opportunities, and use synergies to promote innovations in the production of battery organic materials in Europe. This creative platform has developed into a hub for EU-funded initiatives, fostering an ecosystem of knowledge exchange.

Additionally, the project reached a significant milestone on October 5, 2023, when it held its launch event Recycling lithium-ion Batteries for Clear Mobility. The purpose of the event was to position the Appreciate project on the path to the natural transition and to introduce it to various stakeholders, including the European Commission and the common public. Speakers from the German Commission, Batteries European Partnership Association, industry, and EU-funded projects talked about how they can meet the needs and requirements of the battery ecosystem and offer a strong response to the future challenges during the event.

RESPECT constantly interacts with stakeholders, including additional BATT4EU projects, the European Commission, and regulatory bodies, while a partner in the Cluster Hub and the Launch event’s organizer. The project can better understand the various needs and motivations of the battery ecosystem thanks to this vigilant involvement.

The RESPECT project is a shining example of German innovation, teamwork, and dedication to environmentally friendly practices. Thanks to its innovative strategies, well-defined objectives, and active involvement in the battery value chain, RESPECT is poised to have a significant impact on lithium-ion battery recycling going ahead.

Verónica Castro-Allende

With a rich background in urban technology and IoT, Veronica brings a unique blend of expertise and innovation to our platform. Her work focuses on integrating advanced engineering solutions into smart city infrastructures, emphasizing sustainable and efficient urban development. Her insightful contributions shed light on the future of urban living, blending technical prowess with practical urban applications

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