BASF unveils co-located battery material production and recycling facility

Circular economy Electe23

Germany – BASF celebrated the inauguration of Europe’s pioneering co-located center for battery material production and battery recycling in Schwarzheide, Germany. The plant is Germany’s first facility dedicated to the large-scale production of high-performance cathode active materials.

The facility marks a significant step in closing the loop of the European battery value chain, encompassing the collection and recycling of used batteries, as well as the production of new battery materials.

Battery materials are integral to the performance of lithium-ion batteries, making them crucial for the transformation of mobility. The opening of the high-performance cathode active materials production facility and the battery recycling plant demonstrates BASF’s confidence in the future of the chemical industry in Europe and Germany.

The European Battery Alliance, which has already attracted over €180 billion in private investments, aims to enhance the EU’s competitiveness and reduce its dependencies in this strategic sector, while accelerating the green transition.

New facility

The new plan represents the first fully automated facility of its kind in Europe. It is already fully committed for the coming years and will supply tailored products to cell manufacturers and automotive OEMs in Europe. BASF’s innovative cathode active materials have a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to industry benchmarks, thanks to the company’s proprietary efficient production technologies, which prioritize minimal energy consumption and a high proportion of renewable energy. In response to the growing demand for electric vehicles in Europe, BASF is planning further investments in cathode active materials and is engaged in advanced negotiations with customers, solidifying its commitment to establishing a robust, localized battery value chain in Europe.

The construction of a black mass production facility, where valuable metals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, and manganese are chemically recovered from end-of-life batteries and waste from battery production, has already started. This sustainable recovery process will enable the production of new cathode active materials. The black mass production facility is expected to begin operations in 2024.

Electe23’s vlog

BASF Schwarzheide was also part of the Electro Trail Europe (Electe23). It is continuously exploring opportunities to reduce its carbon footprint. Electrification is a key spearhead. Meanwhile, a solar farm with a maximum power of 24 megawatts supplies the park. Power can also be stored in a NAS battery (1MW/6MWh). Electric heat pumps and, for example, e-boilers are also being considered. Watch the vlog: