For the first time, a Volkswagen (VW) research team has managed to recycle battery cells several times. Now, VW is working with several companies and researchers, including Germany’s RWTH Aachen University, to further strengthen the processes needed to recycle these battery cells.
Sebastian Wolf, Chief Operating Officer of Battery Cell at Volkswagen AG, said the recycling capability of battery cells and rejected products made a decisive contribution to securing the supply of raw materials. Through the HVBatCycle project, a holistic view of the recycling process and with closed-loop implementation of battery materials is being prepared.
“We’re going to keep you out of this science-economics talk. VW also said that all of these steps must be carefully coordinated to ensure the process is as friendly and scalable as possible,” said Sebastian Wolf.
In addition, VW wanted to automate a very complex battery recycling process. However, it will only be partially automated, with the disassembly of the battery into the respective cells and the electrodes being handed over to the machine.
At some point, humans have to step in to complete the process. After that, they will be reassembled and used. “Once the material is produced into battery cells, it can be recycled again at the end of the current battery life cycle,” continued Sebastian Wolf.
If VW can continue to develop this technology, besides being able to turn battery cells into environmentally friendly, it will also bring a bit of luck to a number of industries. With any luck, these battery cells will last longer and make electric cars last longer.