In a significant stride towards sustainable battery manufacturing and recycling, Swedish battery maker Northvolt and British recycling company EMR have inaugurated a cutting-edge recycling facility in Hamburg, Germany. The facility, spanning 12,000 square meters, marks a key step in Northvolt's ambitious recycling strategy, with a goal to process 10,000 tonnes of battery packs annually.
Northvolt's proactive stance on recycling began with the Revolt program in 2019, leading to the production of its first battery cell made entirely from recycled materials in 2021. This eco-friendly ethos is set to expand, with plans to upscale recycling operations in Sweden to a staggering 125,000 tons of batteries yearly at the forthcoming Revolt Ett factory.
Operated by EMR, the Hamburg plant focuses on discharging and dismantling battery packs, notably from electric cars. EMR's meticulous approach involves extracting high-grade copper and aluminum, which can be repurposed for manufacturing battery housings. The remaining battery modules are then forwarded to Northvolt's recycling facilities for further processing.
The extracted materials are crucial for Northvolt's cathode materials, driving on-site battery production. The company's Hydromet technology at the Revolt Ett factory further refines this process, recovering essential battery materials such as lithium, nickel, manganese, and cobalt from the remaining “black matter.”
The collaboration echoes a paradigm shift in sourcing battery minerals, presenting economic and ecological advantages over traditional mining. Northvolt's aspiration to achieve 50% recycled material in cells by 2030 underscores its commitment to sustainability.
Founded by former Tesla executive Peter Carlsson in 2016, Northvolt boasts key customers such as Volkswagen, BMW, and Volvo Cars, with orders surpassing $55 billion. The recent injection of $1.2 billion in capital aims to fuel expansion in Europe and North America, solidifying Northvolt's stance as an industry frontrunner in green battery technology.