Many of the materials required for battery manufacturing rely on traditional water and energy intensive processes. It is estimated that 500,000 gallons of water is required to extract one tonne of lithium using this type of mining. Urban mining or the use of recycled materials could reduce water consumption as well as cutting greenhouse gas emissions from battery production by up to 50%.
Veolia’s new facility in Minworth, West Midlands marks the first step in developing its recycling technology and treatment capacity within the UK, with an anticipated 350,000 tonnes of end-of-life electric vehicle batteries predicted to be in the country by 2040.
The plant will initially discharge and dismantle batteries before the mechanical and chemical separation recycling processes will be completed. In addition, Veolia will utilize its global network to establish a full circular economy solution in the next five years to produce battery precursors in Europe.
in March 2021, Groupe Renault, Veolia and Solvay announced a partnership to enable the circular economy of EV battery metals in Europe through closed-loop recycling.