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Manufacturing traction batteries for electric vehicles involves a great many valuable raw materials that need to be recycled as quickly as possible once the battery has died. That's why the AutoBatRec2020 (Automotive Battery Recycling 2020) research project was launched at the start of the year to develop the necessary recycling chain - including scalable logistics solutions to tackle the increasing number of batteries expected in the future.

Financed by EIT RawMaterials with EU funding, the project group is working toward identifying environmentally-friendly and cost-effective ways to recycle batteries efficiently and develop methods that can be used in industrial environments. The goal is to improve the overall recycling chain to recover valuable raw materials for European industry. Coordinated by the Project Group for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC, researchers are investigating the entire battery recycling chain - starting from the collection of used batteries and the various processes for taking batteries apart right through to recovering materials and reusing them in new batteries. The project participants aim to assess and restructure the individual processes in terms of efficiency, economic feasibility and overall sustainability, and generate a truly smart and cost-effective value-added chain to make the end-of-life management of traction batteries more sustainable.

Working alongside the Fraunhofer ISC on this project are the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, the Belgian company UMICORE NV, the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) from France, Freiberg University of Mining and Technology, SAMSUNG SDI Battery Systems GmbH, ImpulsTec GmbH and Daimler AG.

Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC (97082 Würzburg, Germany)