24 August 2023: Through the collaborative efforts of electric vehicle battery manufacturer Northvolt and leading metal recycler EMRA, a battery recycling plant has been established in Hamburg, Germany. This facility has commenced operations, marking a significant step in the recycling of EV batteries in Europe.
Spanning over an impressive 12,000 square metres, the facility is managed and outfitted by EMR, boasting advanced equipment capable of discharging and dismantling roughly 10,000 tons of electric vehicle battery packs annually. The layout and operational design of the facility were meticulously crafted by Northvolt, incorporating battery discharging and dismantling solutions developed and provided by the company.
In an official press release by Northvolt, Emma Nehrenheim, Chief Environmental Officer at Northvolt stated, “EMR is a world leader in metal recycling and has been an excellent partner in this project. The ability to effectively recycle batteries is crucial to making the electric vehicle revolution as sustainable as possible. With this new facility, we are ready to receive volumes of European batteries for recycling and further our progress towards establishing a circular battery industry.”
The initial phase of battery recycling involves the discharge and dismantling of battery packs. Drawing from its extensive 70-year history in metal recycling, EMR will use its expertise to carefully recover high-quality copper and aluminium, which constitute the essential components of modern EV battery frames. This strategic process ensures that these materials can be reintegrated into the production of sustainable technologies, including the next generation of electric vehicles.
At each stage of this recycling process, the materials recovered by EMR and Northvolt establish an entirely new avenue for sourcing the minerals necessary for battery production. This approach proves to be both economical and environmentally favourable compared to traditional mining practices.
This innovative venture not only addresses the pressing issue of e-waste and battery disposal but also aligns with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and conserve valuable resources. By combining EMR's expertise in recycling with Northvolt's advanced battery technology, the facility promises to contribute to the circular economy by efficiently repurposing and reusing critical materials from spent electric vehicle batteries.