New power from old cells: Audi and Umicore develop closed loop battery recycling

Regional website Germany
  • Car manufacturer and materials technology and recycling group test a closed loop for high-voltage car batteries
  • 95 percent of valuable battery materials can be recycled
  • The partners are developing a raw materials bank concept for these recovered raw materials

Ingolstadt, October 26, 2018 – Milestone reached: Audi and Umicore have successfully completed phase one of their strategic research cooperation for battery recycling. The two partners are developing a closed loop for components of high-voltage batteries that can be used again and again. Particularly valuable materials are set to become available in a raw materials bank.

Already before the start of the cooperation with Umicore in June 2018, Audi had analyzed the batteries in the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid car and defined ways of recycling. Together with the material technology experts, the car manufacturer then determined the possible recycling rates for battery components such as cobalt, nickel and copper. The result: In laboratory tests, more than 95 percent of these elements can be recovered and reused.

The partners are now developing specific recycling concepts. The focus is on the so-called closedloop approach. In such a closed cycle, valuable elements from batteries flow into new products at the end of their lifecycle and are thus reused. The Ingolstadt-based company is now applying this approach to the high-voltage batteries in the new Audi e-tron electric car. The aim is to gain insights into the purity of the recovered materials, recycling rates and the economic feasibility of concepts such as a raw materials bank. Security of supply and shorter delivery cycles are the goals. "We want to be a pioneer and to promote recycling processes. This is also an element of our program to reduce CO2 emissions in procurement", says Bernd Martens, Member of the Board of Management for Procurement and IT at AUDI AG.

For Audi, battery recycling is a key element of sustainable electric mobility. From the extraction of raw materials to the CO2-neutral e-tron plant in Brussels to the recycling of components, the premium brand is committed to environmentally compatible concepts along its entire value chain.

×

      Umicore uses certain monitoring and tracking technologies such as cookies. These technologies are used in order to maintain, provide and improve our services on an ongoing basis, and in order to provide our web visitors with a better experience.

      By clicking on the "Accept all" button you agree to the use of these cookies while using the website. For further information regarding how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please see section 11 of our website privacy notice

          Necessary cookies are essential and help you navigate our website. This helps to support security and basic functionality and are necessary for the proper operation of our website, so if you block these cookies we cannot guarantee your use or the security during your visit.

          Cookies that help us to understand the behaviour of users of our website. This allows us to continuously improve our website to provide the best information in support of our project aims. These cookies also help us understand the effectiveness of our website. For instance these cookies tell us which pages visitors go to most often and if they get error messages from web pages.

          Cookies that deliver content to you based on your interests, which are assumed from your browsing history. Most Targeting Cookies track users via their IP address and, thus, may collect some Personal Data. Personal Data collected by Targeting Cookies may be shared with third parties, such as advertisers.