New factory, new partnership, new possibilities
Our world is turning electric. Fast. Batteries now power our everyday. And while this brings exciting new opportunities, it also brings new challenges. To meet these challenges, Stena Recycling is building a new battery recycling facility and embarking on an exciting partnership with one of the global leaders in sustainable technologies, Johnson Matthey.
Everyone is going electric
Any scepticism around the widespread use of batteries has long since drained away. Everyone is going electric. More and more new batteries are needed and as costs go down, demand is only going to go up. There are more smart devices in our hands and more electric vehicles on our roads than ever before. In short, batteries are everywhere.
The switch to battery power has caused a huge demand for critical and finite resources like cobalt and lithium. And the race is on to extract them. But the real race, the one where everyone wins, is finding a way to safely recover these valuable resources, so they can be used again and again.
Taking battery recycling to the next level
One of the biggest challenges to emerge from the electrification of society is how to take care of used lithium Ion batteries in a safe, circular way. To meet this challenge, Stena Recycling is currently establishing seven new battery centers across Europe, where industrial batteries will be safely collected, discharged, and dismantled – in battery recycling this is referred to as Phase 1.
But with sales of electric vehicles up by 43% globally in 2020, and the number of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles expected to increase almost tenfold over the next decade, it’s clear that more must be done – and fast. So, Stena recycling is taking things to the next level.
Black mass, bright future
At Stena Recycling’s new Phase 2 facility, it will be possible to recycle 95% of a lithium-ion battery used in electric vehicles. But it’s not just electric car batteries that will be recycled here. Batteries from smart devices, power tools, domestic appliances and other electronic products can also be treated.
And it’s here that Stena Recycling’s new collaboration with Johnson Matthey will come into its own. The goal of the collaboration is to ensure high-quality raw materials from used batteries, which can then be reintroduced back into the loop.
To do this, an industrial scale process for the safe, mechanical breakdown of batteries will be put in place. This process will produce recycled plastic and aluminium but also, most importantly, high-quality black mass – the extracted critical resources including lithium, cobalt and nickel.
Using 200-years of experience and expertise, Johnson & Matthey will analyze and refine the black mass metals. The result is premium raw materials that can be used in the manufacture of new batteries. This closing of the loop – from end of life recycling to new battery materials – is essential to achieve circularity in the supply chain.
We believe in battery power
Today, the need for new battery recycling solutions and circular product designs has never been greater. But through our efforts, and close collaboration with likeminded partners, we can reclaim precious and finite resources, and create a truly circular society that leaves a positive impression for generations to come.
At Stena Recycling, we believe in battery power.