Can batteries be recycled?

Lithium to lithium, manganese to manganese

For many decades and until recently, batteries were considered hazardous waste. They can serve as valuable sources of raw materials. That is why the newly founded Volkswagen Group Components is already working on a recycling concept for batteries. The goal: to return valuable raw materials to the manufacturing process chain.

“For ten years now, we in the Volkswagen Group have been researching how we can recover valuable raw materials. These include above all nickel, manganese, cobalt and lithium, ”explains Thomas Tiedje, Head of Technical Planning, Volkswagen Group Components, E-Mobility Business Area. The multiple use of these four raw materials in particular is so important and useful because their degradation and use for the CO2-Balance sheet of a company is very crucial. Regardless of this, multiple use helps to save costs and conserve raw materials.

The Volkswagen Group assumes overall responsibility for its e-mobility of the future: from the concept for e-vehicles through production, sales and operation to recycling. “We already have sustainable battery expertise in the group and are expanding it further,” says Tiedje. Management and workforce at the Braunschweig components plant have been attuning to times of great tension for months. At the end of 2019, the first “power plants” for the ID. leave the factory.