Nornickel Teams up With Fortum, BASF on Battery Recycling Project

Russian nickel and palladium giant Nornickel has signed a partnership deal with Finland’s Fortum and Germany’s BASF to plan an electric car battery recycling cluster in Harjavalta, Finland, reported.

The idea is to develop a successful “closed loop” cycle to re-use the critical metals (like cobalt and nickel) present in used lithium-ion batteries.

The end-of-life battery modules would be dismantled to extract valuable metals needed to produce new cathode active materials. BASF plans to launch a battery materials precursor plant in Harjavalta, Finland as well as in Schwarzheide, Germany.

“Using metals from recycled batteries to produce battery materials offers significant CO2 reduction in the production of electric vehicles. Additional CO2 reduction can be achieved by using electricity from renewable sources in Finland for the recycling process,” said a BASF representative. “The parties aim to foster the production and use of responsibly produced recycled raw materials in the battery market.”

Fortum is promising that the new hydrometallurgical technology, developed by Finnish company Crisolteq (acquired by Fortum) allows increasing the recovery rate of valuable materials in lithium-ion batteries from 50% to over 80%.

“By recycling valuable metals in lithium-ion batteries we reduce the environmental impact of electric car batteries by complementing the supply of cobalt, nickel and other critical metals from primary sources. Through our previous acquisition of a Finnish growth company Crisolteq, an expert in low CO2 hydrometallurgical processing, we are very proud that Fortum is now able to increase the recovery rate of valuable materials in lithium-ion batteries from 50% to over 80%,” said Tero Holländer, head of business development at Fortum Recycling and Waste.

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