Innovative strategies for energy transition

The energy transition towards a greener and more sustainable world requires the development of innovative strategies to address current issues from a contemporary and environmentally friendly perspective.

Activities related to the recovery of strategic elements have gained significant momentum in recent years due to the scarcity of essential metals crucial for the manufacturing of high-performance batteries with high energy density. Additionally, the need to manage waste from electronic devices that have reached the end of their life cycle has driven the recycling of lithium-ion batteries.

Challenges and Opportunities

The main avenues to address the shortage of strategic raw materials for the emerging European battery value chain, while dramatically reducing the environmental impact of this industry, include:

1️⃣ Strategic Element Recovery: Recovering essential elements that are scarcer and have a high carbon footprint, whether from mining and industrial waste or from the processing of black mass from battery recycling, is crucial to ensure a sustainable supply of raw materials.

2️⃣ Smart Reuse: Giving a second life to lithium-ion batteries that are no longer suitable for their original applications through reconditioning to extend their lifespan in less technically demanding applications helps alleviate the pressure on raw material demand.

Secondary raw materials for independence and energy transition.

While extending the life of conventional batteries postpones their entry into the recycling loop, the recovery of critical raw materials from industrial and mining waste through hydrometallurgical processes, as conducted by rimsa in the SENECA project (missions 2023), will have a direct impact. This impact not only reduces Europe’s dependence on the supply of these strategic elements but also results in a drastic reduction in the environmental impact of certain traditionally highly polluting industrial activities in Europe through responsible and more efficient waste management with high-value metals necessary for batteries.

The origin of these strategic elements is relevant not only from an economic perspective but also from a social and environmental standpoint. We are convinced of the importance of traceability of strategic elements to certify their origin as the basis for the development of the emerging value chain for European batteries.

Battery reuse and the recovery of strategic metals play a key role in the global energy paradigm shift. Therefore, rimsa is committed to the valorization of waste as a source of critical raw materials for the production of active materials for batteries that demonstrate traceability, certifying an ethical and environmentally respectful origin.