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Li-ion batteries

Optimised recycling of lithium ion batteries

The overall goal of the project is to develop a new system for efficient recycling of lithium-ion batteries where virtually all the included material is recycled. Through optimised pre-treatment, mineral processing and hydro / pyro-metallurgy are the goal that everything of value can be recovered, including electrolyte, graphite and lithium. This is to be achieved by combining the competence of leading expertise, research institutions and industrial partners in Sweden and China.

The interim goals of the project are related to:

  • automated disassembly, discharge and handling of vehicle batteries
  • thermal pre-treatment methods for efficient separation and recovery of electrolyte
  • effective method for separating graphite
  • new effective method for concentrating recycled lithium
  • a simulator to investigate the possible generation of toxic gases during the recovery of lithium-ion batteries

The project is part of a collaborative project where each country finances its part. Some parts of the project are led from Sweden and others from China. To achieve the project's goals, Swerim has partnered with Shanghai Polytechnic University (SPU) of China and formed a consortium with parties from RISE, uRecycle, Boliden Mineral, NorthVolt and Stena Metall in Sweden and leading university and battery recycling industry in China.

The participants from Chinar are, in addition to SPU: 

  • Tsinghua University (School of Environmental Science and Engineering) focus on metal recycling
  • Ganzhou Highpower Technology Co. Ltd., a major LiB recycling company with primary responsibility for automated disassembly of the battery pack
  • GEM, the largest recycling company in China where developed methods are demonstrated
  • BAIC BJEV, Beijing New Energy Vehicle Co. Ltd. delivers obsolete vehicle batteries

Open reports and articles from the project will be published here


Project name




RISE role in project

Life cycle assessment

Project start


4 years

Total budget

9,8 MSEk


Swerim AB, Boliden Mineral AB, NorthVolt AB, Stena Metall AB, uRecycle Portable Batterier Oy, Tsinghua University, Ganszhou Highpower Technology Co. Ltd, GEM, BAIC BJEV, Beijing New Energy Vehicle Co. Ltd


Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

7. Affordable and clean energy
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
11. Sustainable cities and communities
12. Responsible consumption and production
13. Climate action
17. Partnerships for the goals
Mats Zackrisson

Contact person

Mats Zackrisson


Read more about Mats

Contact Mats
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