Fortum Battery Recycling started commercial operations at its new hydrometallurgical battery material recycling facility in Harjavalta, Finland.
It said the facility is the largest recycling plant in Europe in terms of capacity, and it is also the first commercial-scale facility in Europe for hydrometallurgical recycling.
Tero Holländer, head of batteries at Fortum Battery Recycling, said 95% of the ‘valuable and critical metals’ from battery black mass can be recovered and returned to the cycle for the production of new lithium-ion battery chemicals.
The plant is already producing nickel and cobalt sulphates on an industrial scale and Fortum said the products are meeting customer specifications.
It said it is ready to meet legislative requirements for minimum levels of recovery for materials such as cobalt, nickel and lithium from 2026.
Fortum is providing closed-loop battery recycling in Europe: pre-treatment services in Kirchardt, Germany, and mechanical process in Ikaalinen, Finland, and hydrometallurgical metal recovery in Harjavalta, also Finland.
By combining Fortum’s mechanical and hydrometallurgical processes, 80% of a battery can be recycled, it said. Fortum Battery Recycling is also working with industrial side-streams, recovering critical battery materials in Tornio, with another novel hydrometallurgical process that produces a nickel intermediate product.