April 28, 2023: Energy company Fortum said on April 27 it had started commercial operation of its lithium hydrometallurgical battery material recycling facility in Finland.
Fortum claims the plant is the largest in Europe in terms of recycling capacity and the region’s first commercial-scale facility for hydrometallurgical recycling.
The plant can also recover 95% of the valuable and critical metals from battery black mass and reuse them to produce new lithium ion battery chemicals, Fortum claims.
The company had yet to respond to Energy Storage Journal’s request for recycling capacity details or say what happens to residual black mass that cannot be recycled.
Fortum said the facility in Harjavalta will reduce Europe’s dependency on imported battery raw materials.
Head of the batteries business line at Fortum Battery Recycling, Tero Holländer, said the “low-CO2 plant can sustainably produce the materials urgently needed for new EV lithium ion and industrial-use batteries”.
The plant is already producing nickel and cobalt sulfates, Fortum said.
Recycling pre-treatment services for the Finnish plant will be conducted around 2,400km away at Fortum’s new operation in Kirchardt, Germany, The company said on March 16 it had received its environmental permit from regulators.