New process by BHS-Sonthofen

Efficient and safe recycling of lithium-ion batteries and accumulators

Fossil fuels are being increasingly replaced by other energy sources. Their use requires efficient storage technologies. However, lithium batteries and accumulators are often criticized, because the raw materials used for this technology are produced in an environmentally questionable manner in regions that are considered social hotspots. This makes it all the more important to have efficient and safe processes that allow the raw materials that went into the depleted batteries and accumulators to be returned to the material cycle. Together with its subsidiary AVA, BHS has developed a process that allows for the safe and efficient recycling of lithium-ion accumulators and batteries.

Safe process for battery recycling

Before the batteries can be shredded safely, they first need to be discharged. Following this, a BHS shredder selected according to the feed material (cells or battery modules) is used in the first shredding stage. If the batteries have not been treated with a thermal process at high temperatures, sparks in the machine can cause the electrolyte to catch fire. In order to eliminate this risk, a customized shredder that has been made gas tight and that operates in a nitrogen atmosphere is used.

Once the shredding tools have reduced the feed material to the desired target size, the parts fall through appropriately designed grid segments. The shredded batteries are heated in batches in a vacuum dryer from AVA located directly downstream to evaporate the electrolyte components for subsequent recovery in a condensation unit. The electrolyte-free residues are then subjected to dry mechanical processing consisting of various screening, separating and ball-shaping steps.

The system size, which can be adjusted depending on customer requirements, ranges from 100 kg to several tons. “The process delivers the following three end products: high-grade aluminum concentrates, copper concentrates and black mass, which contains lithium and various other metals such as manganese, cobalt and nickel. All three fractions are ready for remarketing,” explains Christian Kühn, Sales Director for Recycling & Environmental Technology at BHS. “Another advantage for many of our customers is that the products of the small plant do not fall under ADR regulations during transport.”


Related articles:

SungEel MCC Americas Announces Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Plant Location in New York State

SungEel MCC Americas (SMCC) announced the location of its first plant which will redefine the North American lithium-ion battery, e-waste recycling, energy, and metals markets. The Endicott, New York...


TES announces expansive new battery recycling services

TES announced the opening of two new battery recycling facilities – TES B in Singapore and Recupyl in Grenoble/France. The approximately $ 25 million investment positions TES as a leader in the...

Issue 2018-06 ICBR 2019

International battery recycling congress in Lyon

As the reference in this fast-moving, complex environment, the conference is essential for battery manufacturers and their materials and supply chain, battery recyclers, electronics and e-mobility...


Bio-based solvent helping develop UK’s first industrial-scale car battery recycling project

Biotechnology company Circa Group, who produces bio-based solvent CyreneTM from waste cellulose, is participating in an innovative project aimed at developing the first UK industrial scale capability...

Issue 2019-1 Source of raw materials

Battery recycling: Challenges and chances

What challenges will the battery recycling industry face in the future? How will the market and recycling technologies develop? And what progress has been made in the safe handling of lithium-ion...