Technology partnership for battery recycling

With a view to the future return of lithium-ion battery systems Mercedes-Benz is expanding its global battery recycling strategy and intends to build its own battery recycling factory. To this end, Mercedes-Benz is cooperating with Primobius as the technology partner.

Primobius shall license the technology for the battery recycling plant to be located at Mercedes-Benz Kuppenheim Operations in Southern Germany. In addition to a technology license to run the recycling plant, the cooperation will then also cover technological support from Primobius. The planned CO2-neutral facility is intended to cover an annual capacity of 2,500 tons. The recovered materials will be fed back into the recycling loop.

The direct integration of hydrometallurgy into the overall concept of a recycling plant is a core element in the realization of sustainable battery recycling, where the materials obtained can be re-used for the production of new cells. Across Europe, Mercedes-Benz will be the first automotive manufacturer to operate its own recycling plant including hydrometallurgical treatment and aims to be able to achieve recovery rates of over 96 % (in relation to the battery weight).

The project will be overseen with scientific support from the renowned research institutes Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Technical Universities of Clausthal and Berlin. The project received to prospect of funding by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

On March 3, 2023, Mercedes Benz AG in Kuppenheim laid the foundation stone for its battery recycling factory. Operations are planned to start in late 2023. Primobius is proud to be the technology partner in this important project and to contribute to closing the recycling loop and reducing resource consumption in the electro mobility sector.

Intelligent recycling significantly enhances the CO2 balance of lithium-ion batteries and shortens the time to reach the CO2 “break-even” of electric cars in the future. We are proud to be one of the first to realize a resource-efficient recycling technology in the heart of Europe. The joint project with Mercedes-Benz shows that our two-stage recycling process, and particularly the high recovery rates with hydrometallurgy, already meets the industry's needs today.