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chain and alternative strategies to pro-  cobalt, nickel, platinum and rare   CONSIDERABLE POTENTIAL
            tect against these procurement risks.”   earths as crucial, but considers them   FOR RECYCLING CONCEPTS
            The industry also gets the message.  to be “available in sufficient quantities
              As does the European political estab-  to allow the switch to climate-friendly   At the same time, the commercial
            lishment, which demands a recycling   electric mobility.” A company spokes-  potential of recycling concepts is very
            rate of 50 % in its Battery Directive.   person informed us that “the long-term   promising, as reflected, for example,
            And even China, which really cannot   supply of these materials can only be   in the conclusions made by the govern-
            complain about a shortage of raw mate-  secured if they are mined in an environ-  ment-funded recycling projects Litho-
            rials, has this year required all drive   mentally and socially acceptable way   Rec II [7], EcoBatRec [8], LiBRi [9]
            batteries from electric vehicles to be   as well as in justifiable quantities.”    and StaTrak [10], which focus on resid-
            recycled. For this purpose, manufactur-  But is this enough?        ual service life, product design and
            ers must set up special collection points,   Consulting institute Macquarie     recycling technologies among others.
            where batteries no longer in use can be   Research [5] estimates the cobalt deficit   Christian Hanisch, who, as Managing
            handed over properly and in due form.   at over 885 t, and it’s only getting   Director of Duesenfeld, a company
            Moreover, the battery design must allow   worse. And since mobile phone compa-  based in Braunschweig, Germany,
            for automated recycling. Which makes   nies also need cobalt for their batteries,     concentrates exclusively on recycling
            a recycling model for old electric-vehicle   analysts at Bloomberg New Energy   lithium-ion batteries, explains in an
            batteries a top priority.         Finance forecast that demand for cobalt   interview with ATZ that the recycling
                                              will increase up to 47-fold by 2030. So a   process is no longer rocket science, but
                                              shortage is inevitable, even with recy-  often “remains bogged down by tradi-
            RAW MATERIAL DEMAND               cling, warns Frank Treffer, Head of   tional structures.” Unlike most battery
            OVER THE LONG TERM                Umicore Battery Recycling in Hanau,   recyclers, who use a smelting furnace to
                                              Germany. “With 10 million batteries   melt down the cells arranged together in
            Besides extending the longevity and   from electrical  vehicles alone, weighing   modules and subsequently extract the
            maintainability of lithium-ion batteries,   anywhere between 10 and 100 kg, this   raw materials contained in the melt,
            the Volkswagen Group sees recycling as   will mean recycling systems having to   Duesenfeld goes a different way. A way
            key to “reduce the demand for primary   handle  several 100,000 t a year in   that promises far greater recycling effi-
            raw materials long term, while optimiz-  Europe alone in future. If the recycling   ciency in the process.
            ing battery costs and the environmental   requirements from other applicable   That said, Duesenfeld also only starts
            balance,” as the company informed us in   fields are also included, recycling   recycling the battery modules and cells
            response to our inquiry. “Research into   capacities will be needed in 20 to 30   after the battery management systems
            this has been under way since 2009.”   years’ time that we ought to be estab-  have been removed (electronics recy-
            Daimler also sees raw materials like   lishing now” [6].            cling) together with the battery casing

                                              TWO QUESTIONS FOR …

                                              ATZ _ Cobalt could soon be replaced    Europe is slow in developing recycling for
                                              by other materials in the near future.    electric-vehicle batteries, whereas China
                                              Do these new cell chemicals constitute    is making large-scale plans. Do you expect
                                              a major problem for recycling?    a competitive disadvantage?
                                              HANISCH _ No. But we can only get    There is every indication that pioneer-
                                              out of a battery what was built into    ing laws and regulations will soon
                                              it in the first place. If the cobalt    govern the recycling of electric-vehicle
                                              and nickel are replaced, the lithium    batteries in China. Accordingly, proac-
           © Duesenfeld                       still remains to be tackled. We can   tive Chinese national strategies in raw
                                                                                materials policy as well as in the promo-
                                              already do that on a development
                                                                                tion of electric mobility are helping cata-
                                              scale. It would also be advantageous
                                              to see exactly the combination of   lyze the development of a recycling indus-
            Christian Hanisch                   materials it contains from the out-  try. However, aged lithium-ion batteries
            Managing Director, Duesenfeld GmbH  side. Paving the way for the battery   demand very high safety precautions
                                              materials to be processed even more   for transpor tation, making it very costly,
                                                systematically and – I’m sure – saving   so there will still be batteries around in
                                              process chemicals and energy to boot.  Europe for recycling.

            ATZ worldwide  09|2018                                                                           13
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