Swedish battery developer and maker Northvolt has launched a recycling programme to produce sustainable lithium-ion batteries.

Called Revolt, the programme will focus on recycling lithium-ion cells and reducing the environmental footprint. It is supported by EIT InnoEnergy.

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As part of this programme, Northvolt will set up a pilot recycling plant in Västerås, Sweden, close to its Labs manufacturing plant.

The plant is expected to be operational by 2020 and support the company’s recycling process. It will have an initial recycling capacity of 100t a year, handling nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) and nickel cobalt aluminium (NCA) lithium-ion chemistries.

Northvolt CEO Peter Carlsson said: “It is clear that recycling batteries at end-of-life is critical to delivering a comprehensive model for sustainable lithium-ion batteries. With this programme, Northvolt will be able to recover valuable materials from cells and return them to manufacturing flows.

“Recycling will reduce the need for mining raw materials, improve the security of supply and lower the environmental footprint of Northvolt cells by reducing mining-related emissions.”

Supported by a full-scale recycling plant at Northvolt Ett, the company is planning to develop new cells with 50% recycled contents by 2030.

To be completed in phases, Northvolt’s first block will be operational in 2022 and recycle approximately 25,000t of battery cells a year.

Over the last two years, the company has been focusing on developing methods that will facilitate the process of lithium-ion batteries recycling.

Northvolt and researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have collaborated to create a process that will help to recover valuable metals from end-of-life batteries.