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‘Holistic’ answer for spent batteries

German start-up Cylib’s pilot battery recycling plant in Aachen has completed nearly a year of trials.

Cylib reports that all battery elements, including lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper and graphite, can now be ‘holistically’ recovered. The company’s facility can now treat 500kg of batteries per day.

The new recycling plant relies on a unique technology developed by Cylib which is planning an industrial line with a capacity of several thousand tonnes per year.

Hoping to boost results, the recycler has partnered with vehicle manufacturer Next.e.GO Mobile to target electric car batteries. They expect that rising demand for battery powered products will require significantly higher recycling capacity by 2040. New data from the Fraunhofer Institute confirms that over 2.1 million tonnes of e-car batteries will be available for recycling by then.

‘Our current goal is to expand our technology and capacity,’ says Cylib ceo Lilian Schwich. The company’s recovery of lithium and graphite is water-based, meaning the proprietary process requires no chemicals. Cylib was founded in 2022 out of RWTH Aachen University.

‘We successfully moved into our current recycling facility in January, built the necessary infrastructure, and became operational in less than nine months,’ adds co-founder Paul Sabarny. ‘Our team takes great pride in this achievement.’

Building on its success, Cylib is already engaged in ‘promising discussions’ with the city of Aachen and other potential sites. ‘We plan to make a site decision for the next production line later this year,’ Sabarny says.


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