Volkswagen Group’s Components division has begun a pilot project of recycling EV batteries at its Salzgitter facility in Germany. Only the batteries that can no longer be used for any other purposes including a second life in mobile energy storage systems or a mobile charging robot, for example, are being recycled.
During this pilot phase, the plant will have an initial capacity of recycling up to 3,600 battery systems per year as such dead batteries are not expected to arrive in large quantities anytime soon. The used batteries undergo tests to ensure that they’re indeed unusable anymore and are dismantled from their casing. The individual modules are then shredded into tiny bits.
The granules are dried and a separation process begins. In addition to aluminium, copper and plastics, the process also yields “black powder” which contains the important raw materials for batteries such as lithium, nickel, manganese, and cobalt, as well as graphite. Watch the video below to understand better.