Tesla Motors has launched a recycling program in Europe for its Li-ion battery packs, and will recycle its battery packs at Umicore’s UHT facility in Belgium. (Earlier post.) The Brussels-based materials technology company will use the expended pack material to produce an alloy that will be further refined into cobalt, nickel and other metals.
After that, Umicore will transform the cobalt into high-grade lithium cobalt oxide, which can be resold to battery manufacturers. One of the few byproducts of their approach is a clean, inertized slag containing calcium oxides and lithium. The slag goes into the production of special grades concretes.
Umicore’s battery recycling technology enables saving a minimum of 70% on CO2 emissions at the recovery and refining of these metals, so it can substantially reduce the carbon footprint for the manufacturing of Lithium-Ion batteries.