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Tech4Lib: the UNIBS circular economy project on battery recovery

Tech4Lib is the new project led by the University of Brescia (UNIBS) and funded by Fondazione Cariplo, which aims to develop an innovative and sustainable battery recovery technology.


To achieve greenhouse gas neutrality on transport and power, the two sectors must be combined. In fact, batteries can achieve 30% of the carbon emission reductions required in the transport and energy sectors. Lithium-cobalt batteries are key devices in the pursuit of ecological transition goals. Given the increasing (evolution) 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.

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 battery recycling, based on the use of microwaves, recently selected by EIT RAW MATERIALS as one of the most promising in the field of circular economy.


Beginning on 1 March 2023 and ending on 1 July 2026, it aims to work towards a competitive, circular, sustainable and safe value chain for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) by developing an innovative and sustainable technological solution to establish a circular economy approach for the raw materials required to produce LIBs. Recycling of battery components is extremely important, both from a material and environmental perspective. This is particularly crucial now, as the battery industry looks forward to developing sustainable storage solutions that support the energy transition.


The results may be crucial for the battery market in Lombardy, where raw materials are not available from mining, but can be recovered from waste.
The impact is also considerable from a technological point of view: this will be the first project to develop a new technology, selected by the EU Raw Materials Consortium as one of the most promising for raw material recovery in the near future.
The development of this technology opens up the possibility of increasing the energy efficiency of microwave-enhanced carbothermal reductions not only for battery recovery, but also for many other microwave chemical processes.


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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