RELiEF EU-funded project
Start date: 1 July 2022 - End date: 30 June 2025
Recycling of Lithium from Secondary Raw Materials and Further
AVESTA BATTERY & ENERGY ENGINEERING (Belgium)
A big boost for lithium recycling
Battery scrap is not the only source of lithium (Li) that can be recovered. There are other Li sources. In this context, the EU-funded RELiEF project will target the recovery of Li from other secondary sources. This will reduce unrecovered Li from its waste generation, estimated at 27 % of the current global production. Specifically, the project proposes an integrated recycling facility for the production of Li from secondary raw material materials with continuous processing to produce materials for batteries.. Li wastes will be reduced by more than 70 %, which will instead be recycled into high-value battery-grade material. RELiEF will greatly strengthen the EU’s competitiveness in the battery storage value chain.
Current recycling technology is focused on recovering Li from battery scrap, while hardly much focus and technological development is going towards other Li sources. Hence the aim is to recover Li from potential secondary sources, in order to reduce unrecovered Li from its waste generation, which is estimated to be approx. 27.33% of the current global Li production. RELiEF proposes an integrated recycling facility for Li from secondary raw material sources with continuous processing to produce battery materials. Li wastes will be reduced by more than 70%, which will instead be recycled into high value battery-grade material. The results of the integrated and continuous process up to battery precursor recovery will be demonstrated at TRL 5 and battery active material closed-loop process will be demonstrated at TRL4 with a 1.5 – 2.5 kg/week output of battery active materials and a new business model will be developed for the materials acquisition and processing, taking into account environmental and social sustainability. The expected results will contribute to decreasing the dependency of the EU on imported battery chemicals and raw materials. RELiEF will greatly strengthen the EU’s competitiveness in the battery storage value chain.
The RELiEF consortium consists of 12 partners, six of which are SMEs (ABEE, EXT, EURICE, IST, PEG, TC), four are non-profit RTOs (IMNR, INEGI, ZSW, NOVA) and further two are universities (LUT, ULB) and one associated industrial partner (LANX), Thus, it a very high amount of industry involvement, entirely in the form of innovative SMEs covering the technological and also the impact maximization related aspects of the project; a perfect combination of basic research methodologies, chemical process and analysis capabilities, technology development in an industrial environment and strong ties to the recycling and battery industry and policymaking entities inside the EU.