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'Promising' new breakthrough for recycling EV batteries discovered by Swedish scientists

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Euronews or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: Swedish scientists from Chalmers University of Technology have unveiled a novel recycling technique, which boasts a highly efficient recovery rate for metals present in electric car batteries
• This innovative method allows for a 100% recovery of aluminium and a 98% recovery of lithium, offering a more sustainable and effective approach to battery recycling

🔭 The context: The prevalent method of recycling electric car batteries is hydrometallurgy, an aqueous-based process where metals in an EV battery cell dissolve in inorganic acid
• This approach often results in the loss of some lithium, due to the multiple purification steps required to remove "impurities" such as aluminium and copper
• The new method introduced by the researchers reverses the process order, targeting lithium and aluminium for recovery first, minimizing the loss of other valuable metals

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: With the growth of the electric vehicle industry, efficient recycling of batteries becomes pivotal
• Not only does the novel technique maximize metal recovery, but it also avoids the need for harmful chemicals
• Utilizing oxalic acid, an environmentally benign organic liquid found in plants, the method is both sustainable and offers an opportunity to recycle batteries with minimal waste and environmental impact

⏭️ What's next: The researchers are optimistic about scaling up their method for industrial application in the coming years
• The research group, having established a robust track record in lithium-ion battery recycling research, is engaged in collaborative efforts with major brands like Volvo and Northvolt, aiming to further refine and implement their process

💬 One quote: “Our method is a promising new route for battery recycling - a route that definitely warrants further exploration,” (Léa Rouquette, PhD student)

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