Innovative recycling processes for new lithium cell generations

Project duration:
01.10.2019 – 30.09.2022


  • TU Clausthal, Institute of Mineral and Waste Processing, Waste Disposal and Geomechanics (IFAD)
  • RWTH Aachen, Institute of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling (IME)
  • TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Institute of Mechanical Process Engineering and Mineral Processing (MVTAT)
  • TU Braunschweig, Institute for Particle Technology (iPAT)
  • WWU Münster, Münster Electrochemical Energy Technology (MEET)
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Technische Universität Braunschweig
RWTH Aachen
TU Clausthal
TU Freiberg

The InnoRec project is being carried out in close cooperation with the joint partners (IFAD, IME, iPAT, MVTAT, MEET). The focus of the work is to develop a holistic approach for the efficient and robust recycling of future battery cell generations. The objectives of the projects include:

– Further development of recycling processes from mechanical cell dismantling, thermal and pyrometallurgical treatment through material separation to the refining of concentrates to qualities that can be returned to cell- /battery production
– Development /adaptation of the process routes for different input streams, considering ecological and economic effects and attempt to achieve the highest possible recycling rates, including consideration of process residues and by-products
– Characterization and re-synthesis of battery secondary raw materials for reuse in battery production
– Study on the recycling of solid-state battery electrodes which come from the ProZell-Cluster

To achieve the above goals, the following working steps are necessary:
– Definition of cell systems which need to be considered and procurement of materials (All)
– Pyrometallurgy and Thermal Processes (IME)
– Mechanical processing (iPAT and MVTAT)
– Flotation and hydrometallurgy as well as utilization of by-products and process residues (IFAD)
– Analytics, Material Characterization and Re-synthesis (MEET)
– Development of procedural approaches for the utilization of ProZell-cells and integration of subproject results and recommendations for design and production (All)

The academic achievements of this project will be incorporated into teaching at the participating universities (in particular, experimental practice, systematic exercises and also partly in lectures) and form the basis for theses.
Based on the results, follow-up projects are also to be added with the main purpose of establishing a transfer to other material flows (new battery systems, electronic scrap, composite materials, etc.).
An essential basis for this is the publication of the research results in high-quality professional journals as well as application-oriented conferences. It can be assumed that the results will lead to an implementation that can take place as soon as suitable quantities of material flows are available. If necessary, based on current planned battery technology research and industrial implementation activities, a timely next step will be selected.