The German logistics equipment provider Kion Group AG has begun sending used up lithium-ion batteries to a recycling plant run by its strategic partner Li-Cycle Holding Corp., declaring that the facility in Magdeburg, Germany, can recover up to 95% of the battery’s valuable minerals and materials.
Kion and Li-Cycle had agreed in March to form a strategic battery recycling partnership that would last until 2030, saying the deal would help reduce its reliance on extensive mining for raw materials and disposal of battery chemicals.
That’s particularly important for the company since Kion says that 88% of all industrial trucks it sold last year were electric, compared to the global industrywide rate of 70%.
Kion said its goal is to have a total of up to 5,000 metric tons of end-of-life battery material sustainably processed at the Li-Cycle recycling plant by 2030. That weight is equivalent to around 15,000 large lithium-ion batteries of the kind used in forklift trucks, the company said.
Recycling batteries that have reached the end of their useful life will help Kion to build a closed loop extending from manufacturing and usage through to resource recovery, Kion chief technology officer Henry Puhl said in a release.
That process begins when the forklift company produces its own lithium-ion batteries at a plant in Karlstein am Main, Germany. Those are then installed in the electric-powered industrial trucks of the Kion brand companies Linde MH, Fenwick, STILL, and Baoli, as well as in automated warehouse logistics systems. “Together with Li-Cycle, we are now closing the loop and ensuring that nearly all of the valuable materials, including lithium, cobalt, copper, and nickel, are recovered from the lithium-ion batteries used in our trucks. These resources can then be used to make new batteries,” Puhl said.