Revolt, Northvolt’s recycling program, has produced its first battery cell with 100% recycled nickel, manganese and cobalt. Following material validation, electrochemical performance testing of cells produced with recycled metals demonstrates performance on par with cells produced with freshly-mined metals. Northvolt now aims to expand its recycling plant capacity to enable recycling of 125,000 tons of batteries per year, amounting to approximately 30 GWh of battery production per year.
Revolt: battery recycling program
The Swedish company announced that all recycling and production processes were completed on a single site, at Northvolt Labs in Västerås, Sweden. The development stands as a breakthrough for the battery industry and a milestone for Northvolt in its mission establish a sustainable supply of batteries to support the decarbonization of society.
Recycled nickel, manganese and cobalt metals used in the battery cell were recovered from battery waste through a low-energy hydrometallurgical treatment which involves the use of an aqueous solution to isolate the metals and separate them from impurities. Having proven the validity and efficiency of its recycling process, Northvolt now turns attention to the scaling-up of recycling capacities to fulfil its aim of producing cells with 50% recycled material by 2030. The Swedish battery specialist, whose agreements with Scania, Volvo and even Volkswagen were officially announced in the latest months, is also working on strengthening its laboratories in Västerås, thanks to a huge investment of 750 million dollars.
Scaling-up recycling capacities
«What we have shown here is a clear pathway to closing the loop on batteries and that there exists a sustainable, environmentally-preferable alternative to conventional mining in order to source raw materials for battery production. The recycling process can recover up to 95 percent of the metals in a battery to a level of purity on par with fresh virgin material. What we need now is to scale-up recycling capacities in anticipation of future volumes of batteries requiring recycling», said Emma Nehrenheim, Northvolt’s Chief Environmental Officer and head of Revolt.