First fully recycled battery cell produced by NorthvoltS. Himmelstein | November 17, 2021
In preparation for building Europe’s largest battery recycling plant, Stockholm-based Northvolt has produced its first lithium-ion battery cell featuring a nickel-manganese-cobalt cathode produced with metals recovered through the recycling of battery waste.
A pilot facility demonstrated recovery of up to 95% of the metals in a battery to a level of purity on par with virgin material. Recycled nickel, manganese and cobalt metals used in the battery cell were recovered from battery waste through a low-energy hydrometallurgical process developed by the company’s Revolt initiative. An aqueous solution is applied to isolate and separate metals from impurities.
The commercial-scale recycling facility will process end-of-life batteries from electric vehicles and production scrap from Northvolt. When operational in 2023, the plant will enable recycling of 125,000 tons of batteries annually with a goal of producing cells with 50% recycled material by 2030.
In addition to direct delivery of nickel, manganese, cobalt and lithium metals into Northvolt battery production processes, the facility will recover copper, aluminum and plastics from the batteries and materials it recycles, all of which will be recirculated back into manufacturing flows through local third-parties.