The chair “Production Engineering of E‑Mobility Components” (PEM) at RWTH Aachen University has published the brochure “Recycling of Lithium-Ion Batteries” together with the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) and TU Braunschweig. The 28-page document explains the structure and functioning of the batteries, the risks involved in handling them, the challenges of dismantling and automating them, and various approaches to recycling.
Kampker: “Developing economic and sustainable concepts”.
“The amount of lithium-ion batteries that are in the last stage of their ‘life’ in electric vehicles will increase massively in the coming years. That’s why we need to develop economical and sustainable concepts for recycling and raw material recovery,” emphasizes PEM head Professor Achim Kampker. Even today, a recycling rate of up to 95 percent is technically feasible. “The still very high production rejects in current battery manufacturing and the high increase in ‘end of life’ batteries expected in the next few years makes an energy-efficient circular economy and higher recycling capacities necessary,” says Professor Arno Kwade, founder and spokesman of the “Battery LabFactory” at TU Braunschweig.
The topic is also significant for the mechanical and plant engineering industry, as a completely new market segment is opening up with the increasing need for recycling, adds Dr. Joachim Döhner, Chairman of the VDMA Battery Production Department and “Senior Director Global Sales Battery” at KUKA Systems GmbH: “The necessary automation of battery disassembly and the recovery of recyclable materials will generate new know-how and ultimately also new business areas.” In order to implement sustainable concepts for batteries at their “end of life”, all players along the value chain — from material synthesis, battery cell, battery module and battery pack production to the use phase — must address the issue, the authors of the brochure emphasize.