The project partners toured the facilities of battery recycler, Accurec, who have designed and tested an innovative microwave treatment technology for Li-ion battery waste as part of the CloseWEEE project. The process enables recovery of critical raw materials – metals and graphite – which with appropriate treatment, can be re-used in battery manufacture or in other applications.
Accurec has long been involved in the recycling of batteries – Founded in 1995 the company now processes 4.5 million kilograms per year of NiCd, NiMH and Li-ion batteries. In the process developed in the CloseWEEE project, batteries undergo a pretreatment of discharging and mechanical processing. The Li-ion battery material is then fed into a microwave furnace where the material is heated up rapidly and the organics (electrolytes and separators, etc.) are pyrolyzed/evaporated. It produces electrolyte-free material for subsequent hydrometallurgical treatment for recovery of metals (Co, Ni, Mn, Li) and graphite. For more information, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.