Circular economy batteries

lithium battery recycling facility TES' lithium battery recycling facility in Singapore. Photo: Port of Rotterdam
Industry Database

The first lithium-Ion battery recycling plant in the Netherlands will open at a European port.

TES will recycle batteries from electric vehicles at a large facility in the Port of Rotterdam. The metals recovered will be used to make new batteries. The facility is planned to be fully operational by late 2022 and feeds into the port’s circular economy ambitions.

Allard Castelein, CEO at the Port of Rotterdam, said: “We are working not only towards a net zero CO2 emission port and industry in 2050, but also looking at ways to make the industry more circular. Therefore besides working on projects regarding for instance hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, it’s important to take significant steps to establish circular production processes. The TES project in Rotterdam is exactly that. This could very well become the largest European facility for recycling batteries from electric cars.”

More discarded batteries

The number of electric vehicles is increasing rapidly, which is leading to a huge rise in global demand for Lithium-Ion batteries as well as discarded batteries.

In March TES opened a facility to recycle lithium batteries in Singapore, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. The facility uses a combination of mechanic equipment and hydrometallurgical processes to recover precious metals such as Nickel, Lithium and Cobalt. The recovery rate of precious metals exceeds 90% and yields a purity level of almost 99%. Thus, the metals recovered from lithium batteries are commercially ready for fresh battery production. TES plans to use comparable technology in Rotterdam.

Thomas Holberg, global vice president of battery operations at TES, explained: “Once up and running, we will have up to 10,000 tonnes annually of shredding capacity and a subsequent hydrometallurgical process which focuses on the recovery of Nickel, Cobalt and Lithium as a precursor feedstock for the battery industry."

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