First-Hand News?

Obtain news and background information about sealing technology, get in touch with innovative products – subscribe to the free e-mail newsletter.

Closing in on Circular Success

Midland, Mich. (USA), August 10, 2021. XALT Energy, LLC, and the ReCell Center, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office’s (DOE/VTO) battery recycling center, are closing a technology gap between the world’s increasing use of lithium-ion batteries and the need for advanced, in-process and end-of-life battery recycling options. XALT Energy, a Freudenberg Sealing Technologies company, is a Midland, Mich.-based developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion technology solutions.

Working with the ReCell Center*, XALT Energy is providing material resources and proof-of-concept testing to validate a simple separation process that allows for direct recycling of manufacturing scrap electrode materials into new battery electrodes. If successful, the process could create a significant cost benefit for battery manufacturers by reducing the amount of virgin raw material used in production. In addition, with supply chains for critical materials such as nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide (NMC) still being established, advanced recycling could significantly reduce the volume of materials being globally shipped, reducing transportation emissions and energy costs.

XALT Energy experts at the company’s Auburn Hills Technology Park have been testing recycled NMC electrodes produced by the ReCell Center’s process and “the results look promising,” says John Camardese, Director of Cell Development at XALT Energy. “This technology would enable us to directly recycle our coated scrap to recover expensive NMC for use in slurry. This will be a real game changer."

The Right Time

Fortunately for the lithium-ion battery industry, the ReCell Center’s game changing technology is emerging at the right time. Efforts to promote carbon-neutral energy strategies that lower CO2 emissions are being globally pursued. In response, key industries, including transportation, are investing heavily in alternate powertrain technologies. Global demand for lithium-ion batteries is expected to rise from 230 GWh in 2020 to 1,700 GWh in 2030, according to industry analysts at IHS Markit, with new battery electric vehicles driving much of this demand. At this growth rate, IHS Markit analysts note, recycling will need to dramatically increase to keep up with such material demands.

ReCell Center scientists based at the DOE’s Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Illinois and Tennessee agree. In an effort to get in front of this challenge, they proposed a fundamental research program to develop a recycling process that, unlike existing hydro- and pyro-metallurgical methods, would separate and rejuvenate cycle-damaged, nickel-manganese-cobalt foil coatings for reuse in new batteries. Without a robust source for end-of-life batteries to conduct their research, they contacted XALT about collaborating on the project. “Right now, there still aren’t a lot of end-of-life electric vehicle batteries available because they last such a long time,” said Jeff Spangenberger, director of the ReCell Center. “We needed a feedstock of battery materials in order to pursue this early-stage technology. The coated foil scrap and spent pouch cells that XALT has provided to us has enabled us to conduct this recycling program.”

The Benefits of Simple Separation

Importantly, the separation recycling process that has emerged out of collaboration with XALT Energy will offer the company several advantages when proof-of-testing validation is complete, Camardese says. This process is much less energy intensive and more sustainable than hydro- and pyro-metallurgical recycling, which uses chemicals and heat to break down and separate the material back to feedstock compounds such as metal sulfates. Several energy intensive steps are required to convert metal sulfates back into usable battery materials such as copper foil or NMC. The ReCell Center’s focus on more direct methods to separate and rejuvenate batteries will have clear cost and environmental benefits.

This is significant. Multiple analyst reports indicate that 180 kilotons (kt) of lithium, 450 kt of nickel, and 930 kt of cobalt will be needed from recycled sources to meet global lithium-ion battery requirements in 2030.

“This relationship has allowed XALT Energy to participate in the early-term, fundamental research and development of a very promising process that could significantly impact our ability to produce batteries without a total reliance on virgin raw materials,” Camardese says. “This collaboration has provided us with access and influence into the development process of important, more sustainable recycling technology.”

“At the end of the day, battery recycling needs to be profitable,” Spangenberger agreed. “Economies of scale are really going to help, but right now there are a lot of batteries out there that cost money to recycle. The work the ReCell Center and XALT Energy are doing together is helping to get us to the next level.”

*The ReCell Center, funded by the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office, was initiated in 2019 to develop technologies and concepts that will improve the economics of battery recycling, to help reduce the cost of new batteries and to bolster the domestic U.S. battery supply chain. The ReCell Center is led by Argonne National Laboratory and includes the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. More information about the ReCell Center is available at

Ulrike Reich

Ulrike Reich

Head of Media Relations & Internal Communications

Telephone: + 49 (0) 6201 80 5713
Cheryl Eberwein

Cheryl Eberwein

Director, Corporate Communications

Telephone: 734-451-0020
Subscription service

Press Release Subscription Service

You can subscribe to the Freudenberg Sealing Technologies news alert service, bringing you the news as soon as they are published. You can always unsubscribe from this service.

Subscribe now!

Further articles with these taggings

Greenhouse Effect in Reverse


It still escapes from the smokestacks of industrial facilities and power plants and has a negative impact on the climate. But in just a few years, CO2 will be a much sought-after raw material that will replace fossil resources such as petroleum. The reason: CO2 contains carbon, the raw material for plastic.

Read more


Boost for E-Motors


Freudenberg Sealing Technologies showcases new Thermally- Conductive, Electrically-Insulating (TCEI) Materials

Read more

Automotive E-Mobility

The Optimist


Will the world’s resources be plentiful enough for 10 billion people? Certainly, says Swedish historian and author Johan Norberg. With progress and openness to new ideas and developments.

Read more


City – Sand – River


Except for water, no resource on the planet is in greater demand than sand, some experts say. It is particularly in demand for building construction. As a result, it is increasingly in short supply.

Read more


Swapping Everything Out


So mobile phones end up as electronic scrap in two years? The Waldeck brothers aren’t happy with that situation. They produce sustainable smartphones while keeping track of the resources they use.

Read more


For Lack of Evidence


In an interview, Chief Detective Jörg Schmitt-Kilian talks about evidence that comes to light decades after the crime and the moment that the felon is suddenly standing before you.

Read more


The Third Dimension


LEITNER is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ropeways. The company’s emergence paralleled the rise of winter sports-related tourism.

Read more


FST Creates Customized High-Skill Occupation


Cara Mia Pesta is training for a profession that didn’t even exist a year ago. The new employee at FST has set her sights on work as a manufacturing metrology technician.

Read more


Who is Missing - and Where?


What good is state-of-the-art technology if there is no one to operate it? Well-trained skilled workers are still an economy’s most important resource but are in short supply.

Read more


First Hand News

Best of all, keep up with the latest developments
with the Freudenberg Sealing Technologies newsletter.

Subscribe now!