Lithium battery recycling investment to support energy sustainability

lithium battery recycling investment
© iStock/Bet_Noire

The EU’s sustainable energy innovation body EIT InnoEnergy has announced a €5.8m investment in lithium ion battery recycling firm Northvolt.

InnoEnergy will invest €5.8m in Northvolt’s ‘Revolt’ programme, supporting the construction of a pilot lithium battery recycling plant processing up to 100 tonnes of lithium ion batteries per year; with a full scale version scheduled for construction in Skellefteå, Sweden by 2022. Once the full scale plant is completed, it is projected to recycle at least 25,000 tonnes of batteries per year. At present, the majority of recyclable battery materials used in Europe are exported to third countries such as China and Korea for reuse.

Peter Carlsson, CEO of Northvolt, said: “We are very pleased to have the continued support of EIT InnoEnergy as we take this next step in developing our blueprint for sustainable battery manufacturing. Our partnership with EIT InnoEnergy has been vital in getting us to where we are today; not only has it provided investments, it has opened doors for us across Europe.”

EIT InnoEnergy’s investment is further expected to support Northvolt in its goal of using at least 50% recycled material in the new lithium battery cells it produces by 2030. InnoEnergy has now invested a total of €9.3m in Northvolt; and has declared its intention to offer support to additional startups throughout the battery supply chain.

EIT InnoEnergy CEO Diego Pavia said: “This is a landmark investment and one that has a mission critical role to play in addressing climate issues. Europe’s energy transition relies on creating a local, competitive and sustainable battery value supply chain that can support the electrification of the transport, power and industrial sectors. As battery volumes are expected to increase drastically, it will be doubly important that, as an industry, we do everything we can to reduce their manufacturing footprint. As such, greener battery technologies are a cornerstone of a sustainable future, and we are actively seeking to invest in technologies that can unlock economic and environmental benefits. Better technologies mean we can manufacture much more with less, using recycled raw materials and less energy.”

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