Battery recycling comes to Rotterdam

Port of Rotterdam uRecycle will build a factory for the recycling and re-use of batteries at the Port of Rotterdam. Image: Port of Rotterdam
Industry Database

A new factory for the recycling and re-use of batteries will be built in the Port of Rotterdam.

uRecycle will build the factory, which is anticipated to become the European hub for processing of industrial and portable batteries.

Henny van Dort, CEO of uRecycle, said: “A lot is going on here in the field of the energy transition and the circular economy. So, Rotterdam is a good match with what we have been doing for more than a decade. We also want to enter into new partnerships in the chain in Rotterdam.”

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said: “We are working on bringing our port and industry in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. As well as focusing on efficiency, new infrastructure and the development of a new energy system, we also need to take steps now to establish circular production processes. That is why uRecycle and Rotterdam are such a good match. And it shows that we are leading the way in this area.”

Efficient sorting

uRecycle has a process to separate the resuable substances from the harmful substances in batteries and process them safely.

Once old batteries have been sorted in line with their chemical composition, they are shredded. The shredded batteries then go through an extensive sieving and filtering process that leads to the creation of a product known as 'black mass'. This contains a number of substances such as zinc, manganese oxides, cobalt, nickel and other metals that are valuable for use in new industrial applications.

In addition to recycling, uRecycle also focuses on the re-use of industrial batteries in particular. These consist primarily of batteries from electric cars. When they can no longer be used in electric cars, there are plenty of options for a second life in other applications.

The uRecycle facility is expected to start operating in the first half of 2020. uRecycle recently formed an alliance in the Netherlands with Stichting Stibat Services (Stibat), the Dutch organisation responsible for collecting (portable) batteries. The alliance means that Stibat now has Rotterdam as a centrally located sorting centre in the country.

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