Northvolt produces battery with recycled nickel, manganese, cobalt
In a press release, the Stockholm-headquartered firm — which has attracted funding from Goldman Sachs and Volkswagen, amongst others — mentioned the lithium-ion battery cell was manufactured by its recycling program, Revolt.
The cell’s nickel-manganese-cobalt cathode had been produced utilizing metals “recovered by way of the recycling of battery waste.” Assessments confirmed that efficiency was on a par with cells made utilizing metals that had been freshly mined, Northvolt mentioned.
On Friday, the enterprise mentioned the design of its personal recycling facility can be expanded so it might recycle 125,000 tons of batteries yearly.
Building of the plant, referred to as Revolt Ett, is slated to start within the first quarter of 2022, with operations beginning in 2023.
In line with the corporate, the Revolt plant will have the ability to recycle supplies together with lithium, cobalt, manganese and nickel, supplying the gigafactory within the course of.
As well as, plastics, copper and aluminum may even be recovered and “recirculated again into manufacturing flows by way of native third-parties.”
In a telephone interview with CNBC, Emma Nehrenheim, Northvolt’s chief environmental officer, mentioned: “Theoretically, you possibly can, by definition, recycle any metallic that you’ve in a battery and make a brand new battery out of it.”
“As a elementary technique, which means when the market of EVs is mature — so, on the level the place [an] equal quantity of vehicles would enter the road as the quantity of vehicles needing to be scrapped or despatched off for recycling — you possibly can really, in idea, have a really, very excessive recycling charge … of batteries.”
“And which means you wouldn’t be topic to a really liquid uncooked materials market and you’ll additionally shield your self from very excessive footprints,” Nehrenheim, who can be head of Revolt, mentioned.
Northvolt’s plans come at a time when the shift to electrical automobiles is starting to realize momentum.
This week, signatories to a declaration on the COP26 local weather change summit mentioned they might “work in the direction of all gross sales of recent vehicles and vans being zero emission globally by 2040, and by no later than 2035 in main markets.”
Whereas the U.S., China and carmakers together with Volkswagen and Toyota have been absent from the declaration, signatories did embrace the U.Ok., Mexican and Canadian governments and main automotive corporations reminiscent of Ford, Basic Motors and Volvo Vehicles.
As world provide chains face severe stress resulting from a large number of things, the notion of recycling supplies and creating a round financial system is beginning to turn out to be a lovely proposition to some companies, together with these within the electrical automobile sector.
In March of this yr, Lucien Mathieu, from the Brussels-based marketing campaign group Transport & Surroundings, sought to focus on the potential of recycling within the EV trade.
In a press release on T&E’s web site, he mentioned: “In contrast to at this time’s fossil gas powered vehicles, electrical automobile batteries are a part of a round financial system loop the place battery supplies may be reused and recovered to supply extra batteries.”
The recycling of battery supplies, Mathieu argued, was essential when it got here to decreasing “the stress on main demand for virgin supplies” and limiting “the impacts uncooked materials extraction can have on the surroundings and on communities.”
‘Far more native’
Northvolt’s Nehrenheim was requested about how essential she felt concepts about recycling and a round financial system can be going ahead.
“I believe that is going to be the important thing driver for any new trade,” she mentioned. “There will likely be no disruptive expertise that may dwell with out this and I believe that in the long term … recycled supplies in any trade will out compete every other.”
“Long run, it is going to be way more worthwhile as soon as the processes are established to only use a product to supply a brand new product,” she went on to state.
“You are decreasing dependence … on the uncooked materials market, you might have a way more sustainable supply … it is way more native.”