Russian mining company Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) will team up with Finnish energy company Fortum and German chemical group BASF to establish a battery recycling cluster to service the electric vehicle market.
The cluster, to be located in Harjavalta, Finland, will enable a “closed loop” cycle to re-use the critical metals present in used batteries.
“This setup is ideal for sustainable processing of two of the main metals used in lithium-ion batteries,” commented Nornickel MD Joni Hautojärvi.
BASF intends to use recycled materials from the processes developed by the companies within this cooperation in its planned battery materials precursor plant in Harjavalta.
Through the previous acquisition of Finnish company Crisolteq – an expert in low carbon-dioxide (CO2) hydrometallurgical processing – Fortum will now be able to increase the recovery rate of materials in lithium-ion batteries from 50% to more than 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,” said Fortum head of business development Tero Holländer.
Using metals from recycled batteries to produce battery materials offers significant CO2 reduction in the production of electric vehicles. Further CO2 reduction can be achieved by using electricity from renewable sources in Finland for the recycling process.