ReLiB: Recycling and Reuse of EV Lithium-ion Batteries
The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) brings challenges and opportunities associated with the need to manage projected volumes of around 16,500 tonnes of EV lithium-ion batteries reaching end-of-life by 2028. To cope effectively with these volumes, vast improvements in the speed, environmental footprint and the economics of recycling processes will be required.
ReLiB’s vision is to provide a UK EV battery recycling industry with a pipeline of scalable technologies that are responsive to regulatory drivers, new battery designs and chemistries, and the opportunities afforded by Industry 4.0. Over the next 5 years we aim to see the following technologies developed—and scaled:
• cathode leaching work to industrial level
• upcycled electrode materials used in new cells
• binder recovery (where there is an economic or regulatory rationale to do so)
• biorecovery of materials e.g., metals from plastic EV battery waste, from secondary waste solutions – ’zero waste’ concept
• smart disassembly, separation and regeneration technologies e.g., direct recycling to protect the material crystal structure and embedded value of electrode material for reuse
• digital diagnostic tools that can interface seamlessly with battery data passports to assess the state of health of batteries and inform recycling routes
• identification of new research topics that fit with changing battery design and chemistry systems and regulatory drivers.
• Stripping down the whole battery more safely and much faster than present techniques allow.
• Reducing environmental impact by minimising the use of chemicals.
• Minimising human intervention by automating as many processes as possible.
• Recovering a high proportion of the original materials in a reusable form.
One of the Faraday Battery Challenge Round 5 projects awarded in January 2023 was REBLEND, which aims to further develop three processes to directly recover valuable cathode active materials (CAM) from production scrap and end of life automotive and consumer batteries for reuse in automotive batteries. The project is led by Ecoshred, with University of Leicester, University of Birmingham, Minviro, Iconichem Widnes, Watercycle Technologies, Ecolamp Recycling, and Cornish Lithium. It combines novel delamination, magnetic, electrostatic and membrane separation techniques, developed as part of the Faraday Institution’s ReLiB project.
1 March 2018 - 31 March 2023
Professor Paul Anderson
University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham (Lead)
University of Edinburgh
University of Leicester
University College London
Research Organisations, Facilities and Institutes
Diamond Light Source (STFC)
UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC)
+15 Industrial Partners
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