Project Overview

Project Overview

In line with the European Green Deal, the Circular Economy Action Plan, and the Industrial Strategy, the Tech4lib project aims to work for a competitive, circular, sustainable, and safe value chain for lithium-ions batteries (LIBs), by developing an innovative and sustainable technological solution finalised to establish the circularity of these resources. The main innovative approaches of the proposed solution are (i) the use of a new microwave-based technology to promote carbothermic reactions enabling the metals recovery at lower energy in comparison to the conventional procedures (ii) the development of a strategy for the safe recovery of food waste (mainly fruit peels), to produce the organic acids to extract metals (iii) the application of a circular methodology for eco-design of a process based on recursive assessment of key performance indicators on its sustainability, resulting in the identification of multi-objective optimal solutions.

The EU battery regulation that came into force in 2022 aims at shaking up the value chain with mandatory requirements focused on ensuring fully sustainable supply chains. With approximately 800,000 tonnes of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, 190,000 tonnes of industrial batteries and 160,000 tonnes of consumer batteries entering the EU every year (the increase of corresponding waste is expected to be about 700 times within 2040), these regulations will have global implications. The Tech4lib project translates the EU’s sustainable development goals into innovative activities aiming to solve several problems in a single-design solution: providing an alternative route to respond to the increasing demand for raw materials for batteries and guaranteeing a second life to the corresponding waste and to other waste streams, whose managing is challenging from both economic and environmental viewpoints. The Tech4lib project aiming to reach more than 95% of lithium and cobalt recovery from sent LIBs in a sustainable way, will result vital for the national battery market, where the basic materials are not available from mining, but which will be recovered from waste. This will be also the drive to the development of a regional/national market of spent LIBs, that are currently sent abroad and not recycled in Italy.


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