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Thursday 26 January 2023

Tech4Lib: the UNIBS circular economy project on battery recovery

The launch event of Tech4Lib, the new project led by the University of Brescia (UNIBS) and funded by Fondazione Cariplo, which aims to develop innovative and sustainable technology for battery recovery, will be held on 30 March.

Lithium-cobalt batteries are key devices in the pursuit of ecological transition goals. Given the increasing use of electric vehicles, deposits of these materials are expected to be depleted within 30 years, so new technologies for the sustainable recovery of lithium and cobalt from spent batteries must be developed.

In response to this need, UNIBS has developed the Tech4lib project - Low-energy technologies for circular economy of spent lithium-ions batteries based on enhanced microwave effects - which proposes the development of an innovative and sustainable technology for recycling batteries, based on the use of microwaves, recently selected by EIT RAW MATERIALS as one of the most promising in the circular economy.

The project will be presented on 30 March at UNIBS University (the programme is still being finalised).


With the support of a device patented by UNIBS with the National Inter-University Consortium for Materials Science and Technology to facilitate the extraction of metals by means of lower energies, the project's primary objectives are:

- The development of an innovative carbothermal technology with a low environmental impact for the recovery of precious metals from spent lithium batteries;
- The use of acids produced from food waste, rather than commercial acids, for the recovery of metals in solution;
- The production of recycled materials of high market interest in order to enhance circularity by stimulating the use of secondary raw materials instead of virgin material;
- The proposal of a valid solution to the problem of scarcity of raw materials needed for the energy transition in Italy;
- The minimisation of process waste;
- The evaluation of the environmental sustainability of a "pilot supply chain" aimed at the innovative and sustainable recovery and valorisation of these wastes/resources.


The project will start on 1 March 2023 and end on 1 July 2026.


The project partners are:

Università degli Studi di Brescia (coordinator);
Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali;
Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna.

LE2C will actively participate in supporting the communication and dissemination activities of the project.

For more information visit the dedicated website.


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