On 1 June 2020, battery manufacturer Northvolt and Hydro set up a joint venture, Hydro Volt AS, to work on recycling of both battery materials and aluminum. They will be setting up a “battery recycling hub” in Norway, with operations proposed to begin in 2021.
The battery recycling hub will be “highly automated” and used to crush and sort lithium-ion batteries. At first, it will have the capacity to process over 8,000 tons of batteries per year.
Recycling at the facility will manufacture both aluminum and something called black mass, which refers to a substance containing lithium, cobalt, manganese, and nickel. The black mass will be sent to a Northvolt facility in Sweden, where its raw materials will be recovered.
“Northvolt has set a target for 50 percent of our raw material in 2030 coming from recycled batteries,” Emma Nehrenheim, chief environmental officer for Northvolt’s recycling business unit, Revolt, said in a statement.
“The partnership with Hydro is an important piece of the puzzle to secure an external feed of material before our own batteries begin returning back to us,” Nehrenheim added.
According to the country’s government, 43% of all new cars sold in 2019 were electric, while the highest selling car was the Tesla Model 3. By the year 2025, authorities want all new light vans and passenger cars sold in Norway to be zero-emission vehicles.
Recycling and re-use of lithium-ion batteries is an important process. Today, most of the companies are developing technologies and processes to recycle batteries utilized in electric vehicles.
These include the Volkswagen Group which, like Hydro, has invested in Northvolt. In 2019, the German automaker said it might build a battery cell facility with Northvolt and announced plans to develop a pilot battery recycling facility in Salzgitter, Germany.
Elsewhere, Fortum, whose majority owner is that the Finnish state, says it can recycle quite 80% of materials during a lithium-ion battery. Like Northvolt, it also uses a hydrometallurgical process to recycle the batteries.
Source: Hydro News