Mercedes-Benz’ battery recycling subsidiary Licular GmbH—founded in 2021—is heading the consortium for LIBinfinity, a €17-million battery-recycling project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).
LIBinfinity focuses on a holistic concept for recycling materials of lithium-ion batteries using a mechanico-hydrometallurgical process without energy-intensive process steps. The objective is to transfer the process from the lab to an industry-relevant scale.
Materials that cannot be separated mechanically will be split at comparably low temperatures with the help of water and chemicals.
Among the partners of LiBinfinity are KIT, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, Primobius GmbH, SMG group GmbH, Clausthal University of Technology, and Technische Universität Berlin.
Mercedes-Benz is building a pilot recycling plant with an annual capacity of 2,500 tons on its site in Kuppenheim. The new pilot plant will map the entire process chain of battery recycling: from the development of logistics concepts and the sustainable recycling of valuable raw materials to the reintegration of recyclate into the production of new batteries.
The recovered materials will be fed back into the recycling loop to produce more than 50,000 battery modules for new Mercedes-EQ models. Based on the findings of the pilot plant, production volumes could be scaled up in the medium- to long-term.