Expansion of the BLB recycling infrastructure to create and digitalize an optimized material cycle for lithium batteries
2 years (01.09.2022 – 31.08.2024)
Funding and Total Project Volume: 1.490.652 €
Institute of Machine Tools and Production Technology (IWF), TU Braunschweig
Institute for Particle Technology (iPAT), TU Braunschweig
The expansion of lithium-ion battery (LIB) production capacity in Europe is currently proceeding at a very rapid pace, so solutions need to be found for the limited availability of key raw materials and the CO2 footprint of battery cells needs to be reduced. A targeted approach is to close battery material cycles, which requires LIB materials to be recycled at the end of their life.
To achieve this goal, a larger pilot plant for mechanical-thermal recycling is currently being built at the TU Braunschweig based on the results of the LithoRec projects. The well-founded expertise and intensive research of a circular battery production along the entire material cycle at laboratory and pilot scale in the research region of Braunschweig is unique in Germany and Europe.
Due to the constantly improving material composition of the electrodes, the challenges for mechanical dismantling and the separability of components containing valuable materials are constantly increasing. Further development of the LithoRec process is therefore essential to achieve the required recycling rates and purities. The in-depth research and development of the process requires continuous recording of process and product data. In addition, the purity of the input materials should be increased and the complexity of the recycling processes reduced by dismantling down to cell or electrode level.
In the OptiMaL project, the basic plant will be specifically extended with plant components and sensor technology in order to specifically address the following objectives:
Improve process understanding through more and continuously collected measurement data and inclusion in the BLB database.
Increase in volume throughput through material characterization, expansion of material handling and safety measures.
Increase disassembly capability and depth.
Extending the temperature window in the pilot scale from 80°C to 800°C.
The expansion and upgrades will contribute significantly to increasing the productivity, process stability, flexibility, quality and yield of the recycling processes for circular value creation.