14 June 2021 | David Young
Engineeers at IAV have developed a battery concept that is easier to recycle than existing battery systems
The concept is not only interesting for future vehicles – it can be integrated into existing e-models too.
As e-mobility takes off, attention is increasingly focused on the heart of the vehicle: the battery. Hardly a week goes by without an announcement on technological advances in battery research. The main challenge here lies in increasing range and extending durability. However, information on progress in the recycling of high-voltage batteries is conspicuously rare.
Specialists at IAV have come up with a solution that allows end-of-life batteries to be dismantled in a more resource-friendly way and their valuable materials to be recycled more efficiently. Considered over the entire life cycle of a battery, this method can cut CO2 emissions by up to 20 percent. The IAV concept thus also pays off in terms of a possible modernization of European legislation on batteries. The EU Commission's proposal for an EU battery regulation provides for a gradual increase in recycling targets for certain raw materials in lithium-ion batteries by 2030 as part of minimum ecological requirements.
"Up to now, manufacturers have mainly made their battery and module housings from aluminum with various alloys. Hundreds of screws end up being used for the entire battery system, plus a lot of gluing and welding," says Michael Clauß, specialist for battery development at IAV. However, common production processes and the materials used make it difficult to dismantle them and thus to recycle them correctly. "That's why many batteries are shredded. Valuable materials and carrier elements that could be used in new batteries are thus lost," says Clauß.
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