Sweden-based startup Northvolt has produced a functioning EV battery using recycled metals.
The single battery cell uses a nickel-manganese-cobalt cathode made with metals recovered from waste batteries. In testing, the recycled materials performed on par with newly produced metals, according to Northvolt.
The process to recover nickel, manganese, and cobalt involved use of an “aqueous solution” to isolate the metals from other material, under Northvolt’s recycling initiative Revolt.
Northvolt is in the process of building a plant that will be able to recycle 125,000 tons of batteries annually. Located adjacent to Northvolt’s Ett battery factory in Skellefteå, Sweden, the recycling facility is expected to be operational from 2023 when it will start using end-of-life batteries from electric cars and scrap material from the Ett battery factory as raw material.
As a supplier of sustainable, high-quality battery cells and systems, Northvolt was founded in 2016 to enable the European transition to a decarbonised future.
Northvolt is working with clients including BMW, Fluence, Scania, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars and Polestar, to support its plan, which includes establishing recycling capabilities to enable 50 percent of all its raw material requirements to be sourced from recycled batteries by 2030.
Emma Nehrenheim, Northvolt’s Chief Environmental Officer and head of Revolt , said: As the electric vehicle revolution gains speed, we should be mindful that some 250,000 tons of batteries will reach their end-of-life in Europe by 2030. In this, some see challenges and obstacles. At Northvolt, we see opportunity. Similar to how we’ve found novel, sustainable solutions for the handling of salt byproduct at Northvolt Ett – treating it as a valuable product and not waste – the same is true with end-of-life batteries.
“Ultimately, a commitment to circularity will not only significantly reduce the environmental impacts of the battery industry, but also contribute to our vision to set a new benchmark for sustainability in manufacturing.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living