EU-funded project Recirculate seeks to create new business models for repair, reuse, and recycling of second-life batteries
The European Union has awarded €4.9 million for the Recirculate project, which will address the most pressing challenges in the European battery recycling sector and battery materials logistics. The main goal of the project is to enhance end-of-life battery repair, reuse, remanufacture and recycling.
Eleven partners from different countries will work together to overcome the most crucial challenges in the battery recycling sector by combining advanced technologies, such as AI for automated dismantling, smart logistics solutions for safe storage and transportation of batteries and battery materials, and blockchain technology for tracking key battery data and a battery marketplace.
The virtual marketplace will allow for the creation of new circular business models for repair, reuse, remanufacture and recycling of second-life batteries, minimizing cost, time, energy and environmental impact whilst maximizing battery value.
The list of participating companies includes:
Ford Otosan will provide different batteries to enable demonstration of automatic disassembly and will be involved in the development of a standardized battery labeling system. FO will support the preparation of a battery pack repair scheme, procedures for vehicle dismantling & teardown battery packages and also will make sustainability assessment with LCA tools.
Advanced technology providers
Probot’s role is to integrate and test the AI-based robotic battery dismantling and sorting (D&S) system.
Minespider provides a blockchain-based traceability platform and will be involved in all tasks for data exchange relating to providence and characterisation. They will be responsible for designing concepts, workflows, and templates for data collected and shared via digital Battery Passports as well as building an MVP online marketplace.
Eco Stor will be responsible for the initial testing of the battery packs for SoC, SoH and SoS, and reviewing battery data to identify and categorize batteries into packs with similar data.
Fundacio Eurecat will be focused on conducting controlled testing and developing algorithms to gather and process data related to battery performance. Eurecat will also perform the sustainability assessment and support the circular business model development.
Libattion will develop a modular second-life battery pack based on used cells. These second-life battery packs will be developed for light vehicles with lower range and power requirements, as well as the lower overall weight to determine how much power the batteries can still provide for this use case.
Safe transportation and storage of battery components
DHL will be responsible for the safe transportation and storage of packs, modules and cells. DHL will conduct detailed research in both the technical aspects such as delivery of hazardous material and advancing smart truck solutions, as well as legal aspects. DHL will create a definition of the processes required to handle and to carry batteries and the transportation process flow.
Dafo Vehicle Fire Protection’s role is to design and develop an intelligent safe transport and storage system for battery packs, modules and cells.
Project management and coordination
Centria University of Applied Sciences will coordinate the Recirculate project and will be responsible for efficient communication between the project’s participants. Centria will be developing an AI based robotic battery dismantling system from the pack to module and module to cell level. This also involves image analysis for identifying different battery types and models, to enable rapid robot path programming for dismantling and sorting.
Iconiq Innovation Limited and Iconiq Innovation Spain will undertake dissemination and communication activities and lead Tech-Futures Analyses on behalf of the Recirculate partners. Iconiq will also provide project management support and lead the quality and risk management activities.
CSEM will be responsible for assessment, evaluation and safe transportation of batteries. CSEM will also research different diagnostic protocols to measure SoX indicators necessary for the second-life characterization, in particular using EIS. CSEM will validate the algorithmic approach on a module from Libattion using its BMS.