Solvay and Veolia partner to renew the life cycle for electric car batteries
A new consortium is born, creating a circular value eco-system for electric and hybrid vehicle batteries in Europe by enabling the reuse of scarce critical raw materials
Brussels and Paris, September 9, 2020
Today, Solvay and Veolia are pleased to announce their partnership on a circular economy consortium to offer new solutions that promise better resource efficiency for critical metals used in lithium ion electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
With the number of electric vehicles on the road expected to grow from 8 million in 2020 to 116 million by 2030, ensuring stable access to raw materials is a strategic challenge. Furthermore, materials used today in EV batteries are not always recovered at their maximum value.
Solvay and Veolia, through its subsidiary SARP Industries, are already actively engaged in discussions with a car manufacturer and battery cell producers, to coordinate, collaborate and leverage on respective technologies and core competences at each step of the value chain - from access and spent battery feedstock to dismantling, metal extraction and purification.
Solvay's role in this consortium is to optimize the extraction and purification of critical metals such as cobalt, nickel and lithium and transform them into high-purity raw materials for new batteries, ready for another fresh start. The project demonstrates that Solvay's technologies are essential in closing the loop of circular economy. Solvay is also present in the EV and hybrid battery value chain thanks to its high-performance specialty polymers for binders and separators and specialty additives for electrolytes.
“I am truly excited about our partnership with Veolia, aiming to take circularity another meaningful step forward towards cleaner mobility," explained Solvay CEO Ilham Kadri. "At Solvay, our technologies will bring new life to batteries at the end of their cycle. Our unique know-how combining Specialty Polymers, Composites and Mining solutions together with Veolia’s unique experience in waste management, is a fantastic opportunity to build a greener battery ecosystem.”
In its recycling plant in eastern France, Veolia has already been dismantling batteries for electric vehicles since 2013. The combination of mechanical and hydrometallurgical processes makes it possible to treat the active cells and extract the active metals. These metals are then used by industry and transformed into new materials.
“The recycling of electric vehicle batteries and the management of the pollutants they contain are major ecological and industrial challenges. By partnering, Veolia and Solvay help develop the recycling value chain and the production of strategic raw materials for the production of new batteries. If today the essential compounds of batteries are mainly imported, tomorrow they will be regenerated in Europe”, declares Antoine Frérot Chairman and CEO of Veolia.
Establishing this partnership is integral to Solvay Group’s sustainability ambitions and its Solvay One Planet commitments. By 2030, Solvay will generate 15% of its revenues from either bio-based or recycled-based materials.
Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With nearly 179,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions which contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them. In 2019, the Veolia group supplied 98 million people with drinking water and 67 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 45 million megawatt hours of energy and treated 50 million metric tons of waste. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €27.189 billion in 2019 (USD 29.9 billion).
Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 24,100 employees in 64 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet plan crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities and delivered net sales of €10.2 billion in 2019. Solvay is listed on Euronext Brussels (SOLB) and Paris and in the United States, where its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a Level I ADR program. Learn more at www.solvay.com.