Finnish battery recycling research to lead Europe

Finnish battery recycling
© iStock/fmajor

Inspired by Finnish battery recycling research, the European Commission has reached out to Finland to coordinate research into recycling in Europe’s battery industry.

The project, which will be led by mining industry company Outotec and Aalto University’s Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering with strong support from Business Finland, aims to place Finnish battery recycling at the forefront of the global circular economy.

Due to the rising use across the EU of electric cars and other electrification, batteries are increasingly in demand – by 2020 Europe’s battery market will be worth an estimated €250 billion – and by extension, environmentally sound battery disposal is becoming more of a priority. The European Commission’s Strategic Action Plan on Batteries lays out a comprehensive array of concrete measures which will ensure sustainable, circular Finnish battery recycling practices at every stage of the battery value chain.

Senior Director of Business Finland Jarmo Heinonen praised developments in Finnish battery recycling, saying: “We are thrilled that our battery industry strengths have been recognised in Europe. Finnish companies and research groups have significant knowhow especially in the field of battery minerals and applications. We have the potential to develop the battery solutions of the future which take recyclability into account.”

At the beginning of 2018 Business Finland launched its two-year Batteries from Finland activation programme, which aims to bring Finland into the international battery market by improving Finnish knowledge bases on battery matters; attract leading battery manufacturers to invest in Finnish production; and support the development of new battery-related business concepts and Finnish battery recycling solutions.

Ilkka Kojo, Director of Environment and Sustainability at Outotec, said: “The objective is to return, in an economically viable way, as big a proportion as possible of the battery materials to battery production so that Finnish battery recycling is connected with primary production. In addition, the goal is to define long-term visions, a strategic research agenda and operational programs.”

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