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Batteries

On May 3rd, the first BATTERS meeting took place at the headquarters of the Hauts-de-France Region, bringing together 30 actors from the battery value chain to attend the restitution of the state of the art and prepare the territorial LCA which will be carried out by WeLOOP in the rest of the project. Click on this link to learn more about the event and download the presentation.

The battery market is segmented by many types of applications that can be distinguished into two main categories: stationary and mobile; but also different sectors of activity (Energy, transport, IT, etc.) in which there is a multitude of other battery technologies (Pb/Acid, NiCd, NiMH, Li-ion, etc.).

The exponential growth of this market, particularly that of lithium batteries, both globally and in Europe, is mainly due to the explosion of the electric car sector. In the transition to a low-carbon economy, electric mobility is the priority axis chosen by politicians and car manufacturers. Projections predict a 14-fold increase in global demand for batteries annoncent d’ici 2030 and the EU could account for 17% of this demand.

It is against this background that a proposal for a new battery regulation was published at the end of 2020. Indeed, the directive applicable to batteries dates back to 2006 and is no longer adapted to the current battery market and even less to the market of tomorrow (development of NMC 811 and LFP lithium batteries).

This regulation proposal aims to regulate the entire life cycle of batteries and to include their development in a circular economy approach. It deals in particular with the issues of extraction conditions of materials and their criticality, and especially the end of life of batteries (collection and sorting, reuse in second life, recycling for reuse of metals in closed loop, integration of minimum percentage of recycled materials in batteries).

Our projects

Through its various projects, WeLOOP is in total adequacy with the planned regulatory changes and is a key player in the environmental expertise of batteries.

Today, our main focus is on battery recycling. As electric car batteries have a lifespan of about 10 years, end-of-life battery deposits are just becoming available. The main battery recycling technologies are pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy and allow the recovery of the elements that make up the battery (lithium, cobalt, manganese, nickel...).

The existing models in the databases for these processes are based on literature and are no longer representative of the existing processes used today. Within the framework of a SCORELCA project  we are carrying out, in partnership with TND (experts in metallurgy), Life Cycle Inventories (LCI) truly representative of the current technologies and market, based on real data and which will allow to evaluate the environmental impacts of these recycling technologies.

We are also working on innovative recycling processes, through the RecyBat-Li ProjectThis project aims to develop ways of directly recycling NMC battery cathodes, as well as graphite anodes that can be used directly for battery production. The partners of this project are the  University of Picardie Jules Verne, LRCS (Laboratory of Reactivity and Chemistry of Solids), and the CNRS. WeLOOP is in charge of carrying out the  LCA of the new recycling process, the Life Cycle Cost Analysis, and the  S-LCA (Social Life Cycle Analysis).

BATTERS Project

Beyond recycling, WeLOOP brings together all of its expertise (LCA, material criticality, economic and social analysis) around the BATTERS Project for the Hauts-de-France Region.

Mapping of battery production and recycling players in France/Europe/International, feasibility studies of recycling processes in the region, social analysis of the sector's life cycle, identification of needs and assessment of the sector's maturity; an exhaustive work on the battery sector is carried out in order to support the region and its players in the construction of their investment strategy around the battery sector and its inclusion in a circular economy approach.