The European Commission has invited Finland to coordinate battery industry related research into recycling in Europe. The project will be led by Outotec together with Aalto University, and Business Finland will play a strong role in advancing the project.
The EU Commission has compiled the European Strategic Action Plan for Batteries which pulls together a comprehensive set of concrete measures to develop an innovative, sustainable and competitive battery ecosystem. One of these measures is recycling at every stage of the battery value chain from materials to applications and products.
The battery market is growing rapidly due to the growing use of electric cars and other electrification. Vice-President of the European Commission for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič has estimated that in 2 years Europe could already have a battery market worth EUR 250 billion. In this case, the recycling of battery raw materials and equipment, for example, will become even more important.
Recycling is one part of the Batteries from Finland activation program launched by Business Finland at the beginning of this year. The aim is to make Finland a leading country for battery recycling knowhow.
“We are thrilled that our battery industry strengths have been recognised in Europe. Finnish companies and research groups have significant knowhow especially in the field of battery minerals and applications. We have the potential to develop the battery solutions of the future which take recyclability into account,” says Jarmo Heinonen, Senior Director, Business Finland.
Outotec, a mining industry company, will lead the project with Aalto University’s Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering as its main partner.
“The lithium battery research and business have taken a huge leap forward in the past few years. A pilot project is currently being prepared in the EU to support the ongoing research projects in the sector, which will cover the whole battery recycling process starting from their collection and processing. The objective is to return, in an economically viable way, as big a proportion as possible of the battery materials to battery production so that recycling is connected with primary production. In addition, the goal is to define long-term visions, a strategic research agenda and operational programs,” says Ilkka Kojo, Director, Environment and Sustainability, Outotec.
“The expertise and the tools that have created internationally competitive cleantech knowhow in Finland in the primary production of metals will now be harnessed, along with the electrification process, to improve the circular economy of battery metals,” says Mari Lundström, Assistant Professor of Hydrometallurgy at Aalto University.