Presence event is not quite right – the battery recycling congress was held as a hybrid event. According to the organizers, both possibilities were well used, the possibility of digital participation is of course a good option for experts from farther away continents and within the current framework of travel possibilities to be able to participate in events anyway. The congress and the company exhibition took place spaciously distributed over two floors in the Salzburg Congress, so that with a sophisticated hygiene concept the approx. 100 experts of the presence event could feel comfortable and safe – altogether the organizers registered 191 participants from all over the world.
„The 25th anniversary in Salzburg will particularly focus on battery recycling technologies. The three days are going to be enriching for the international community of experts and decision makers of the battery recycling value chain,“ emphasized the Austrian Federal Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology Leonore Gewessler, BA, in her welcome address.
Dr. Jean-Pol Wiaux, Chairman of the Steering Committee of the International Congress for Battery Recycling, pointed out in his foreword, among other things: „Advanced Battery Technology became one of the leading intermediate storage technologies for electrical power. Hence, another industrial revolution similar to the development of electricity a century ago is expected. Battery Recycling is key for the development of the battery industry as it will significantly impact the battery supply chain.“
The two-day lecture event was opened with a series of plenary presentations after introductory words by Dr. Jean-Pol Wiaux.
The series of topics started with a presentation on legal regulations within the EU for the entire value chain of batteries. Under the heading „The new regulatory framework on batteries: – The measures along the value chain“ Mattia Pellegrini, European Commission/Belgium, presented the currently valid regulations as well as the future strategies with regard to new regulations to be created.
In the presentation „MOONCITY: On a Mission to the Future“ Leopold Fellinger, Porsche Austria GmbH & Co OG, MOONCITY/Austria, presented an interesting concept for increasing the acceptance of electric mobility. The term MOONCITY stands for a newly designed Competence-Center for New and Electric Mobility. Fellinger presented an analysis of the acceptance of electric mobility – i.e. electric cars. The conclusion was that users still have reservations about cost efficiency, the charging infrastructure and less choice among the models on offer. With MOONCITY, Porsche wants to make electromobility a tangible experience and at the same time offer technical support. The new competence center is aimed at the general public as well as Porsche‘s partners, dealers and customers.
In his presentation “Battery Materials in a Circular Economy: Case of Austria”, Roman Stiftner from the Austrian Non-Ferrous Metals Federation addressed the demand for raw materials for future battery production, the political framework conditions and the opportunities and challenges in recycling the various types of batteries using the concrete example of Austria.
In the article „SMaRT MicrofactoriesTM Adding Value by Creating Circular Economies for Battery Materials“, Prof. Veena Sahajwalla from the University of New South Wales in Australia presented a project in which the raw materials from the batteries are recovered locally in the form of micro-recycling and appropriate technologies.
Following the plenary lectures, individual sessions were offered on the following topics:
Recycling strategy & innovation
Hazard, risk & safety
Recycling: Commercial projects
The first day of presentations was concluded by a panel discussion on the topic „Assessment of Options to Improve the EU Regulatory Framework on Batteries“ – under the direction of Patrick de Metz, Saft/France, Dr Alain Vassart, EBRA/Belgium, Hans Craen, EPBA/Belgium, Frédéric Hédouin, EUCOBAT/Belgium, Dr Georg Mehlhart, Mehlhart Consulting/Germany and Dr Claude Chanson, RECHARGE/Belgium discussed the use of primary batteries, recycled material, collection targets, current legislation and general political framework conditions.
Of course, the professional exchange and networking did not come off badly. A total of 8 companies presented their products in the exhibition area, where also the coffee breaks were over – so that in a relaxed atmosphere the one or other detail could be further discussed with participants and exhibitors.
The same goal – different location: in the evening we went to the historical old town of Salzburg. Accompanied by the music of Mozart – how could it be different in Salzburg – the 25th anniversary of the ICBR was celebrated in Europe‘s oldest restaurant in the St. Peter Stiftskulinarium. Of course, the exchange among colleagues on the interesting contributions of the day was not neglected here.
The second day of lectures was also filled with interesting contributions on the main topics:
Recycling: Lab & Pilot Projects
Battery materials separation
“2nd Life”: Current status
Recycling technologies development
Since excursions are not feasible in the current situation, a workshop on „Waste Li-batteries: classifications and transport“ was offered for the last day of the congress. During the workshop, a review of the existing classification of batteries as waste in the EU and North America was proposed. Furthermore, the workshop should pave the way for future improvements, in particular the criteria to be considered for waste classification.
Of course, caution and thoughtfulness, distance and reduced contacts are all very sensible measures at the moment – but one has certainly noticed the difference between a digital meeting on the web and a face-to-face event, a very well planed and thoughtful event with lots of discussions and input.
The on-site event has ended but if you were not able to travel to Salzburg this year you can still sign up to have access to all presentations, interviews and workshop presented at the conference. To find out more visit the ICM website https://icm.ch/en/past-events-overview/past-events-icbr
ICBR 2021 will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from September 22 – 24, 2021.