Research Project Targets Next-Gen Batteries

Oct. 17, 2016
Focus includes developing the lifecycle management of the lithium ion battery system.

Novel separation techniques to recover high-value metal compounds from automotive battery packs are being explored as part of a £14 million research consortium, according to resource recovery specialist Axion Consulting. The AMPLiFII Project (Automated Module-to-pack Pilot Line for Industrial Innovation) has received £10 million of funding from the UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK. Led by WMG at the University of Warwick, it aims to develop the next generation of traction batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles.

A major focus is developing the lifecycle management of the lithium ion battery system, including its recycling, remanufacturing and/or repurposing at end of life. This includes research into second-life applications and material recovery processes as an alternative to the current energy-intensive pyro-metallurgical treatment route. A variety of physical, mechanical and chemical processing methods are also being investigated.

Alongside WMG and Axion Consulting, the project brings together Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, Alexander Dennis (ADL), Ariel Motor Company, Panasonic, Vayon Group, Delta Motorsport, Potenza Technology, Trackwise, HORIBA MIRA and Augean. The work also supports the UK Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) National Spoke for Electrical Energy Storage at WMG and University of Warwick.

Nine months into the project, Axion Senior Engineer Sam Haig says they are overcoming key challenges using novel material recovery processes for the cells. “We are making good progress, particularly as there were no well-defined separation methods for a number of these materials,” says Haig. “End markets for recovered materials are also being investigated.”

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