Published on March 20th, 2023 | by Subhash Nair0
Mercedes-Benz Breaks Ground on Innovative Battery Recycling Factory in Germany
Mercedes-Benz has a new battery recycling factory in construction.
Mercedes-Benz is leading the way in sustainable business practices as it breaks ground on its new battery recycling factory in Kuppenheim, Germany. The innovative factory is set to cut resource consumption and establish closed-loop recycling of battery raw materials. The first stage of the plant, which involves mechanical dismantling of electric vehicle batteries, is set to begin ramping up at the end of this year. This is followed by the establishment of a hydrometallurgy pilot plant, subject to promising discussions with the public sector.
The innovative approach of an integrated recycling concept within a single factory is currently unique in Europe. Mercedes-Benz is investing a double-digit million Euro amount in the construction of the balance sheet CO2-neutral plant, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection as part of a scientific research project.
The Mercedes-Benz battery recycling factory in Kuppenheim is set to cover every step of the recycling process, from dismantling at the module level to shredding, drying, and processing of battery-grade materials.
The hydrometallurgy process with a recovery rate of more than 96 percent enables a true circular economy of battery materials. Mercedes-Benz is cooperating with technology partner Primobius, a joint venture of the German mechanical engineering company SMS group and the Australian project developer Neometals.
As part of the overarching scientific research project, the entire process of battery recycling is taken into account. From the development of logistics concepts through the sustainable recycling of valuable raw materials to the reintegration of recyclates into the production of new batteries. Thus, the partners are making an important contribution to the future scaling of the battery recycling industry in Germany.
The pilot plant is expected to have an annual capacity of 2,500 tonnes. The recovered materials will be fed back into the recycling loop to produce more than 50,000 battery modules for new Mercedes-Benz models. Based on the findings of the pilot factory, production volumes could be scaled up in the medium to long term.
The new Mercedes-Benz battery recycling factory is a decisive step for the company’s sustainable business strategy as it moves towards going “Electric Only.”
It strengthens the role of the Kuppenheim site within the global Mercedes-Benz production network and marks a significant contribution to the future of battery recycling in Germany.