Electric vehicle charging
Aluminum and batteries recycled by the joint venture would be used in the electric vehicle market.
© Tierney - stock.adobe.com

Two companies form battery, aluminum recycling venture

Hydro and Northvolt formed a joint venture to recycle batteries, aluminum for the electric vehicle market.

Hydro, an aluminum producer based in Oslo, Norway, and Northvolt, a battery manufacturer based in Stockholm, have formed a joint venture, Hydro Volt, to recycle battery materials and aluminum from the Norwegian market for electric vehicles (EV). 

According to a news release from Northvolt, Hydro Volt will start operations in Fredrikstad, Norway, with an infeed of batteries coming from the Norwegian EV market. Northvolt reports that Hydro initially invested in Northvolt in 2019 and that the joint venture strengthens their partnership.

“Northvolt has set a target for 50 percent of our raw material in 2030 coming from recycled batteries. The partnership with Hydro is an important piece of the puzzle to secure an external feed of material before our own batteries begin returning back to us,” says Emma Nehrenheim, chief environmental officer responsible for the Revolt recycling business unit at Northvolt.

Through the Revolt project, Northvolt seeks to reduce the need for mining raw materials, improve security of supply and lower the environmental footprint of cells by reducing mining-related emissions, the company reports. Northvolt says this target will be secured through a phased buildup in recycling capacity, starting with the launch of a pilot plant later this year followed by the establishment of a full-scale recycling plant at the Northvolt Ett gigafactory for lithium-ion batteries in Skellefteå, Sweden, in 2022.

“We are excited about the opportunities this represents. Hydro Volt can handle aluminum from end-of-life batteries as part of our total metal value chain, contribute to the circular economy and at the same time lessen the climate footprint from the metal we supply,” says Arvid Moss, executive vice president for energy and corporate development at Hydro.

The recycling hub, which will be highly automated and designed for crushing and sorting batteries, will process more than 8,000 metric tons of batteries in the early stages of the launch with capacity being expanded over time, Northvolt reports. Material output from the recycling processes in Fredrikstad will include black mass and aluminum, which will be transported to Northvolt’s and Hydro’s recycling plants, respectively.