Renault to recycle batteries with Veolia and Solvay
Belgian chemical company Solvay and French specialist in optimized resource management Veolia welcome French carmaker Renault to recycle end-of-life batteries and use the extracted metals for the manufacture of new cells. Part of this circular economy reducing the environmental impact of batteries should occur at Renault’s Flins plant.
In September, the French specialist in waste management Veolia and Belgian chemical group Solvay announced their new partnership for battery recycling. Renault, which has already been working with Veolia for ten years, is boarding the circular economy train. They aim to optimize the rare metal purification process to re-use them in the manufacture of new cells.
“Together, we will leverage our presence across the European electric ecosystem to build a strong position in the strategic battery materials market and generate value beyond the automotive sector,” notes Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault, in a joint press release with Solvay and Veolia.
100 million EVs by 2030
Changes in mobility and the push toward fully electric cars imply an increasing use of batteries. According to Renault, the number of EVs should go from ten million in 2020 to more than 100 million by 2030. While the vehicle itself is cleaner, battery production still produces harmful emissions, especially from rare metal extraction.
Therefore, using batteries at their full potential is essential. After being deemed obsolete for cars, batteries can still be used for energy storage. At the end of their life, they should be recycled. French Veolia has already been working on battery recycling for ten years or so, but issues are still present using recycled materials in batteries. This is exactly why Veolia got together with Solvay.
The two partners will work together to optimize the rare metals’ purification process to re-use lithium, nickel, and cobalt to manufacture new cells. This closed-loop system could drastically reduce the environmental footprint of batteries.
“The strategic metals will be extracted and purified into materials ready for re-use in the manufacture of new batteries. Previously, they were recovered in a form intended only for metallurgical applications. This new closed-loop process will contribute to reducing the environmental footprint of electric vehicle batteries,” declared the actors in Thursday’s press release.