Northvolt shows first fully recycled battery cell

November 12, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Northvolt shows first fully recycled battery cell
Northvolt produces first fully recycled battery cell ahead of building a 30GWh recycling plant in Sweden

Northvolt has produced its first lithium ion battery cell with 100 percent recycled nickel, manganese and cobalt and now aims to scale up recycling facilities in Sweden.

Following material validation, electrochemical performance testing of cells produced with recycled metals demonstrates performance on par with cells produced with freshly-mined metals

Through its Revolt recycling programme, the company aims to expand its recycling plant capacity to enable recycling of 125,000 tons of batteries per year, amounting to approximately 30 GWh of battery production per year

The nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathode was produced with metals recovered through the recycling of battery waste at Northvolt Labs in Västerås, Sweden. Northvolt, which is building several battery gigafactories across Europe, sees the development as a breakthrough for the battery industry and a milestone for the sustainable supply of batteries.

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“What we have shown here is a clear pathway to closing the loop on batteries and that there exists a sustainable, environmentally-preferable alternative to conventional mining in order to source raw materials for battery production,” said Emma Nehrenheim, Northvolt’s Chief Environmental Officer and head of Revolt. “The recycling process can recover up to 95 percent of the metals in a battery to a level of purity on par with fresh virgin material. What we need now is to scale-up recycling capacities in anticipation of future volumes of batteries requiring recycling.”

Recycled nickel, manganese and cobalt metals used in the battery cell were recovered from battery waste through a low-energy hydrometallurgical treatment which involves the use of an aqueous solution to isolate the metals and separate them from impurities.

The recycling capacities will be scaled up to produce cells with 50 percent recycled material by 2030 at Revolt


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