Chemetall Lithium to set up a pilot plant for the recycling of Lithium Ion Batteries

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety awarded 5.7 million Euros to Chemetall Lithium, a unit of Rockwood Holdings Inc., to set up a pilot plant for the recycling of lithium ion batteries.

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety awarded 5.7 million Euros to Chemetall Lithium, a unit of Rockwood Holdings Inc., to set up a pilot plant for the recycling of lithium ion batteries. Minister Sigmar Gabriel presented the award to Chemetall’s President Dr. Monika Engel-Bader in a ceremony in the Chemetall plant in Langelsheim,
“The federal funding is 5.7 million Euros. Chemetall will contribute additional funds so that the total investment will exceed 10 million Euros.” explains Steffen Haber, president of the lithium division.

Chemetall is part of a consortium of companies participating in “LithoRec”, a comprehensive research and development project related to the recycling of lithium ion batteries. As few electric vehicles have entered the market, there is limited knowledge and expertise on the collecting and recycling of large lithium ion batteries. Existing techniques concentrate on the recycling of lithium ion batteries for portable electronics with low recycling rates and little to no recovery of lithium. Currently there is no process for the recycling of automotive batteries for electric cars, especially for the recovery of lithium out of cathode material and electrolytes.

The main target of the “LithoRec” project is the development and approval of recycling technologies for lithium ion batteries for electric cars. The consortium of companies will follow a comprehensive approach following the entire life cycle of a battery, starting with a recycling-friendly battery design through the final recovery of battery materials that can be used in the production of new batteries. “LithoRec“ aims for high recycling efficiency of large-scale automotive batteries for the automotive industry in Germany and Europe. In addition to ecological considerations, the project aims to secure the supply of battery raw materials like lithium and cobalt.

Project partners:
Audi AG, Ingolstadt
Chemetall GmbH, Frankfurt
Electrocycling GmbH, Goslar
Evonik Litarion GmbH, Kamenz
Walch Recycling & Edelmetallhandel GmbH & Co. KG, Baudenbach
H. C. Strack GmbH, Goslar
I+ME ACTIA GmbH, Braunschweig
Recylex GmbH, Goslar
Süd-Chemie AG, Moosburg
Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg
Technische Universität Braunschweig
Universität Münster

Total Funding: ca. 8.4 Mio. €
Timeline: 01.09.2009 until 30.09.2011

Chemetall awarded $28.4 million in Stimulus Funds for the Production of Advanced Materials for Lithium Ion Batteries in the U.S.

Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ROC) announced that the U.S. Department of Energy has awarded its Chemetall Foote Corp. subsidiary $28.4 million in Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to expand and upgrade the production of lithium materials for advanced transportation batteries.

The funds will be used by Rockwood to expand and upgrade the production of lithium carbonate at the company’s Silver Peak, Nevada, site and add the production of very high purity lithium hydroxide to the company’s Kings Mountain, North Carolina, facility. Rockwood and its Chemetall business are the only U.S. domestic source of lithium raw material and the largest global producer of lithium and lithium compounds used in batteries, pharmaceuticals and many other industries.

Commenting on the award, Seifi Ghasemi, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “The current dependence of the US and Western Europe on imported oil is a major national security issue. The practical and environmentally beneficial way to reduce this unsustainable dependence is the electrification of the transportation system. The key enabling technology to achieve this worthwhile goal is further development of lithium ion batteries as the most effective means of storing energy in all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. We are very pleased to see the U.S. government taking the initiative and providing major support toward the commercialization of these technologies.

“Rockwood and its subsidiary Chemetall are proud to be among the awardees from this highly competitive process, and to be an important part of this national program. We are committed to use our global leadership position to support the eventual electrification of the transport system in the US and across the globe.”

The Department of Energy’s $2.4 billion program under the Recovery and Reinvestment Act is the single largest investment in advanced battery technology for hybrid and electric-drive vehicles ever made, and the award to Rockwood’s business ranks, in dollar amount, as third highest among advanced material grants. Together, the awarded projects are expected to accelerate the development of manufacturing capacity for batteries in the U.S. and electric drive components as well as the deployment of electric vehicles.

Chemetall is a global company committed to specialty chemistry. The Group’s activities focus on products and processes for the chemical treatment of metal surfaces and plastics, as well as selected fields of fine chemistry, e.g. lithium and cesium compounds.

Chemetall’s businesses historically emerged from the combination of expertise in chemistry and metallurgy, which is still mirrored in the company’s name. Chemetall mainly sells customised packages of products and services, ranging from consultation via development through to the operation of entire plants at the customer’s site – for instance car body pre-treatment in the automotive industry. The company’s product portfolio is based on continuous research and development of leading edge technologies. High performing products combined with Chemetall’s dedication to providing the best technical service and support to its customers have, over the decades, established excellent market positions in its fields of activity.

Chemetall GmbH is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main. It is the centre of a worldwide network of some 40 subsidiaries in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Australia, and Africa. Most of these companies operate their own production sites, and many also have their own development laboratories. A largely decentralised organisation ensures that each local company can respond quickly and flexibly to the customers’ needs in its markets whilst at the same time being able to draw on the specialist resources within the Group. In this way Chemetall combines the strength of a global supplier with the flexibility and customer focus of a medium-size company.

Chemetall is part of Rockwood Holdings, Inc., a leading global specialty chemicals and advanced materials company, with a worldwide employee base of approximately 10,000 people and annual net sales of approximately $3 billion. The company focuses on global niche segments of the specialty chemicals, pigments and additives and advanced materials markets.