The overarching aim of the ReLiB project is to establish a technology pipeline and provide a clear roadmap for the efficient end-of-life management of electric vehicle (EV) lithium-ion batteries in the UK, encompassing both current and future battery chemistries.
To improve the EU-wide recycling chain and to add to a secure supply of raw materials through the recovery of valuable materials from waste stream
Work Stream 1
This work stream is dedicated to the development of quick and efficient automated disassembly of full vehicle packs and integrated hierarchical testing
Work Stream 2
WS2 will investigate the disassembly of cells of different form factors, separation and sorting, automated disassembly and concentration of waste steams for WS3, in particular anode and cathode recovery.
Work Stream 3
WS3 will investigate the remanufacturing of reclaimed materials into cathode and anode materials, electrodes and cells, the process for materials remanufacturing and upgrading, assess the performance of recovered materials in remanufactured cells, and trial design features facilitating easier and automated pack and module dismantling.
By tackling the most demanding technical challenges in sensing, testing, automated sorting, reuse and recycling, ReLiB will act as a national focus for EV LiB recycling research in the UK. It will facilitate optimum utilization of the resources contained in LiBs recovered from the automotive sector, and act as an exemplar to other sectors, such as marine and aerospace, that are currently accelerating their electrification plans.
Since its inception, ReLiB has pursued a high-technology, science- and safety-led approach to the challenges of managing EoL EV LIBs in three complementary work streams. This strategy was conceived to maximize the opportunity afforded by the fact that the availability of EoL EV LIBs in the UK in large volume lies several years in the future, to fulfil the FI mission to propel the UK to the forefront of LiB battery recycling rather than play catch-up with already emerging technology. This has led to a focus on the delivery of intelligent and efficient, integrated automated dismantling and testing that has attracted interest (and funding) from important industry players. In addition, our heavily characterization-focused approach to materials recovery has led to key advances, including the invention of new fast electrode delamination, selective oxide-leaching and low temperature NMC regeneration processes that are currently being patented. In dismantling and materials recovery alike, simultaneous improvements in both the throughput of EoL processes — necessary to reduce costs and to cope with eventual volumes — and their safety will be aggressively targeted.