EIT RawMaterials is one of the key actors in the European Battery Alliance (EBA). Together with some of our partners, we are actively involved in the industry stakeholder consultation process coordinated by EIT InnoEnergy as well as in consulting the European Commission in its Strategic Action Plan for Batteries.
As our society moves towards a New Energy and Mobility Age, strongly driven by digitalization, the resources we depend on fundamentally change. Europe’s dependence will expand from global players delivering fossil fuels to those capable of delivering raw materials and advanced materials needed in new energy technologies. Whether we will be able to transform into a truly sustainable global society will depend on the extent to which we can sustainably, swiftly and more efficiently produce these materials as well as keep them in the loop longer and ensure they enter an appropriate recycling process. A good example is the exponentially increasing demand for battery materials: one big battery cell manufacturing facility uses several thousand tons of cobalt, nickel, manganese, and lithium per year. Other raw materials vital for electrification include graphite, silicon, aluminum, and copper.
The transition to sustainably designed and sourced new energy technologies comes with challenges but also promising innovation and business opportunities and a pivotal role for actors in the raw materials value chain. The EIT RawMaterials Knowledge and Innovation Community hosts key players from industry, research, and academia who drive the transition – and can make it a success for Europe (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. EIT RawMaterials industry partners role in the Battery Value Chain
Implementing EBA actions
EIT RawMaterials is already actively implementing EBA actions, particularly in the following areas:
- Building European alliances across the battery value chains to boost mining and the making of intermediate materials.
- Defining and implementing demonstration projects and regulation for recycling and second life of batteries.
- Investing in R&D and pilot plants to take the technology lead in primary and secondary raw materials processing.
In addition, there are EBA actions related to Life Cycle Assessment Schemes and Education that we contribute to through our innovation projects and active partner community. We are currently evaluating together with InnoEnergy and stakeholder groups how to further implement individual action points and where to take the lead. In addition, we continue to support the European Commission in implementing the Strategic Action Plan for Batteries.
Today there are nine EIT RawMaterials innovation projects in the Battery Value Chain with a dedicated total budget of €15 M. Further projects in the field have been approved in our latest 2018 call for proposal.
- SO4 Control: New water purification technology to improve the environmental sustainability of mines. Case study Cu-Ni-Zn-Co mine of Sotkamo, Finnish Minerals Group.
- NewEco: Industrial symbiosis between ERAMET (FR) and Boliden (SE) to extract Ni, Co, and PGM from sulphides from European sources.
- ALIM: Advanced Lithium-metal electrodes by mastering the production process of extra-thin lithium electrodes.
- ECO COM’BAT: New composites for the next generation of Li-ion batteries, based on green (less toxic, resource efficient and bio-based) and high-performance (high-voltage stable and highly conductive) substitutes.
- SIRIUS: High capacity anodes for Li-ion batteries based on carbon coated silicon nanoparticles.
- AutoBat-Rec2020: Battery recycling process that provides a sustainable raw materials source for the European high-tech industry.
- Display: Process cascade specified to recover raw materials from electronic display appliances and printed circuit boards (PCBs), incl. the removal of batteries.
- RawMaterials4E-Energy: Raw Materials Solutions for E-Energy Technologies in the European Mobility Industry.
- RAWMATS-4-POWERTRAIN: Raw Material solution for the European Powertrain Industry.
Workshops and Matchmaking events:
- Expert Forum – Sustainable Materials for Future Mobility: E-drives, Magnets, Batteries. European Battery Alliance, Darmstadt, 23-24 October 2018
- Circular Economy of Batteries Production and Recycling, Goteborg, 24-26 September 2018
- How to work with Nordic Battery Clusters? Espoo, 28 August 2018
- Battery Metals at the EuroMine Expo, Skellefteå, 13 June 2018
- Circular Economy of EV Batteries, Espoo, 24 May 2018
- Competitiveness in Lithium Supply Chains, Würzburg, 11-12 October 2017
- Expert Forum Materials and Technologies for Future Mobility, Lightweight. Magnets. Batteries, Darmstadt, 9 December 2016