Jewel of raw materials: the lithium-ion battery

More than just a pure energy storage device.

Whether for laptops, cell phones or vehicles - the demand for batteries and rechargeable batteries is growing. Lithium-ion batteries are an integral part of modern electrical appliances. But resources for them are scarce and their extraction is associated with various environmental and social problems. In addition, rechargeable batteries have a limited lifespan and have been difficult to recycle. However, as the relevance of batteries and accumulators increases, so do the requirements and challenges for recycling.

An ecologically very attractive approach for recycling lithium-ion batteries is the largely mechanical treatment of the batteries via shredding, classification and sorting processes as well as the evaporation of the volatile electrolyte components. With our modern recycling process, you can efficiently recycle your waste batteries, minimize hazards and recover valuable raw materials such as copper, cobalt, manganese and lithium.

ERDWICH - Recycling process - sustainable and safe.

The recycling process consists of a number of different steps such as discharging, mechanical shredding, drying and recondensation, as well as various separation processes. In doing so, our recycling process maximizes the quantity and quality of the recovered material and minimizes the environmental impact resulting from the process.

In the first step of discharge, the electrochemical energy remaining in the battery is reduced, minimizing the risk of thermal-chemical reactions.

The material is then shredded and dried. The drying process is followed by some mechanical separation steps such as air sifting, shredding and sieving. Products from this recycling process are: Aluminium, plastics, copper and finally the black mass consisting of the coating materials of the electrodes.

ERDWICH. Shredding unlimited.

Recycling plant for lithium-ion batteries

Process diagram.

Step 1 + 2

Discharge and Disassembly

  • Placing the batteries and accumulators on lifting work tables
  • Checking of the batteries by a specialist for residual voltage and, if necessary, discharging of the accumulators with a suitable discharging device to a voltage of 0 volts (maximization of fire safety)
  • Manual disassembly of cables and easily removable electrical components
  • Transfer of the completely discharged and dismantled batteries via the roller table to the subsequent process steps

Step 3


  • Feeding of batteries and accumulators through a sluice into the inert system
  • Inerting is carried out by nitrogen
  • Plant operation from an oxygen content of < 3 % in the entire inerting system (monitoring by means of oxygen sensors)
  • The first size reduction stage is carried out by a twin-shaft ripper with an end piece size of 50 x 100-150 mm
  • If necessary, the shredder can be flooded with water via an extinguishing system
  • The material is then conveyed to a hammer mill for re-shredding
  • Size reduction of the material stream to a particle size of approx. 15 mm

Step 4 + 5

Drying and Sieving

  • Dehumidification takes place in a discontinuous operation
  • An agitator prevents caking and promotes uniform drying of the material
  • The dried shredded material is fed to an air separator for separation of light and heavy materia
  • The light material consists mainly of plastic and black mass and is stored in a buffer silo after renewed fine shredding.
  • The heavy material is first fed via a vibrating chute to a magnetic drum for the separation of ferrous metals and then to an eddy current separator for the separation of non-ferrous metals

Step 6 + 7

Separation of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, fine separation

  • The material is fed to the sieving machine
  • The sieved fine fraction consists of black mass (with a proportion of 50-80 %) and is filled into big bags
  • The oversize material is separated into light and heavy material in a zig-zag air separator
  • The heavy material stream is collected in a skip below the plant
  • The light material, on the other hand, is brought to a uniform particle size by a baling mill and divided into five fractions by a sieving machine: the oversize consists of foils, the undersize consists of black mass, and the three separation units consist of the fractions copper/aluminium, plastics and FE metals
  • In an additional separation unit as a stand-alone solution, the accumulating non-ferrous metal mixtures are separated into the fractions copper and aluminium