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Resource-minimized recycling of high-purity lithium: start of innovative EARLI process


EARLI is a new project led by ACCUREC to install an economical and innovative process for recovering lithium from spent electromobile Li-ion batteries. The project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection, has a total budget of over 5 million euros.

While battery metals such as nickel or cobalt can already be recovered in higher yields, this is not yet the case for lithium due to the complex technical effort involved. But the research effort is getting a boost from the EU: European legislation will make the recovery of lithium mandatory from 2026 with its novel battery regulation. 

Accurec, Evonik, IME and Öko-Institut aim to install an industrial scaled process with thermochemical treatment and electrochemical separation to gain lithium as a high purity lithium hydroxide monohydrate.
“Through the EarLi project, and especially with Evonik as a partner, we want to significantly shorten the lithium cycle and efficiently close it for battery applications,” says ACCUREC Managing Partner Reiner Sojka. 

(funding code: 16BZF305)

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