The acceptance and long-term future of e-mobility is also related to the options for battery recycling. The goal must be an economical recycling of battery components in order to avoid losses in the product and material cycle and to reduce negative environmental impacts of batteries. Fraunhofer IKTS is developing various concepts with which material cycles can be closed and raw materials can be fed back into battery cell production.
Deep discharge of battery systems
In the recycling process, safe and fast deep discharge of battery systems is elementary. Discharge is necessary to minimize the release of energy due to internal or external short circuits during storage, disassembly or downstream crushing processes. With its proven competencies in material analytics and cell concepts, Fraunhofer IKTS investigates the causes of potentially safety-critical conditions and develops a mechanistic understanding as well as a model to describe the deep discharge process. These findings form the basis for evaluating the deep discharge process with regard to the recyclability and possible recycling depth of the downstream recycling processes.
Resynthesis of active materials for lithium-ion batteries
One focus of research activities is on the resynthesis of active materials from recovered raw materials, the so-called secondary raw materials. Fraunhofer IKTS is investigating the question of how such materials can be reused and what influence this has on the performance of battery cells. In this context, existing recycling processes are specifically adapted to ensure the necessary material purity of consistently high quality.
Recycling-friendly design for lithium-ion cells
At the end of their first life cycle, battery systems are usually only mechanically dismantled, and the individual cells are then sent for thermal recycling. Up to now, battery systems have not been optimized for recycling in terms of design and materials. Against this background, Fraunhofer IKTS is developing design guidelines for liquid electrolyte and solid-state batteries in order to implement a cycle-oriented design and a recycling-friendly construction. This also includes the consideration of dismantlability and separability.
- Modeling of deep discharge processes
- Characterization of (resynthesized) active materials
- Ecological and economical evaluation of recycling processes
- Design of battery cells suitable for recycling