Belgian chemical company Solvay has partnered with French transnational utility Veolia to create a circular value eco-system for electric and hybrid vehicle batteries in Europe.
The two companies have created a consortium that will offer new solutions that promise better resource efficiency for critical metals used in lithium ion electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
Solvay’s role in this consortium is to optimise the extraction and purification of critical metals such as cobalt, nickel and lithium and transform them into high-purity raw materials for new batteries, ready for another fresh start.
The aim is to close the loop of circular economy.
The new consortium is already actively engaged in discussions with a car manufacturer and battery cell producers to coordinate, collaborate and leverage on respective technologies and core competencies at each step of the value chain – from access and spent battery feedstock to dismantling, metal extraction and purification.
In its recycling plant in eastern France, Veolia has already been dismantling batteries for EVs since 2013. The combination of mechanical and hydrometallurgical processes makes it possible to treat the active cells and extract the active metals. These metals are then used by industry and transformed into new materials.
Antoine Frérot, chairman and CEO of Veolia, said: “The recycling of EV batteries and the management of the pollutants they contain are major ecological and industrial challenges. By partnering, Veolia and Solvay help develop the recycling value chain and the production of strategic raw materials for the production of new batteries. If today the essential compounds of batteries are mainly imported, tomorrow they will be regenerated in Europe”