BASF to build commercial scale battery recycling plant

BASF said it will build a commercial-scale black matter battery recycling plant in Schwarzheide, Germany.

This investment strengthens the reinforcement of its production and recycling center for cathode active materials (CAM) in Schwarzheide. The site is an ideal location for building battery recycling activities given the presence of many EV car manufacturers and cell manufacturers in Central Europe. This investment will create approximately 30 new manufacturing jobs, with a start planned for early 2024.

Black mass production is the first step in the battery recycling process and is based on mechanical treatment of the batteries. The black mass produced contains large amounts of the main metals used to produce CAM: lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese. It will be the feedstock for the commercial hydrometallurgical battery recycling refinery that BASF plans to build in the mid-decade.

“With this investment in a commercial-scale black mass battery recycling plant, we are taking the next step in establishing the entire battery recycling value chain at BASF. This enables us to optimize the end-to-end recycling process and reduce the carbon footprint,” said Peter Schuhmacher, president of the Catalysts division.

“The closed loop from waste batteries to CAM for new batteries supports our customers throughout the battery value chain, reduces dependence on extracted raw materials and enables a circular economy.”

Battery recycling is an important lever to reduce the carbon footprint of battery-powered electric vehicles and is key to meeting the ambitious, circular policy requirements expected under the proposed EU Battery Regulation. These relate to the recycling efficiency of lithium-ion batteries, as well as targets for material recovery and recycled content for nickel, cobalt and lithium.

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