Catalytic converter specialist Johnson Matthey now has a memorandum of understanding with Stena Recycling Group to develop a European system to recycle lithium ion batteries and cell manufacturing material.

The two firms claim the quantity of lithium ion batteries used in vehicles and power storage is expected to increase nearly 10 times in the next decade, from 260Gwh in 2020 to 2,500Gwh in 2030. This will result in an exponential increase in demand for recycling, which is essential to recover critical metals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt.

Stena Recycling has 173 locations in seven northern Europe countries and recycles 6m tonnes of materials annually including 240,000 end of life vehicles. It is introducing facilities and processes to recover valuable materials from EV batteries for further refining.

Johnson Matthey will develop additional processes to produce fully refined materials suitable for use in new batteries, increasing recycled content. The pair claim closing of the loop from end of life recycling to new battery materials is essential to achieve a supply chain circle.