BASF and Stena partner to recycle EV batteries in Europe
From left: Mats Berneblad, Sales Manager Electronics and Battery Materials at Stena Recycling Group, Marcus Martinsson, Product Area Manager Batteries at Stena Recycling Group, Dr. Birgit Gerke, Procurement Manager Battery Recycling at BASF, Dr. Daniel Schönfelder, President of BASF’s Catalysts division, who is also responsible for the company’s battery materials and battery recycling business. Photo: BASF SE

BASF and Stena partner to recycle EV batteries in Europe

Chemical company BASF and recycling firm Stena have partnered to recycle lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles in Europe. The collaboration combines their expertise to establish a closed-loop battery recycling system.

Under the agreement, Stena will collect and pre-process end-of-life EV batteries at its facility in Halmstad, Sweden. This involves dismantling the batteries and producing black mass, which contains valuable metals like lithium, nickel and cobalt. 

BASF will then further refine the black mass at its prototype battery recycling plant in Schwarzheide, Germany. The goal is to eventually scale up the process at BASF’s planned commercial battery recycling refinery in Europe.

Closed-loop recycling reduces the carbon footprint of new EV batteries by reusing metals recovered from old batteries. Automakers and battery producers in Europe can utilise the full range of collection, recycling and materials supply services offered by the partners.

“Electrification has only just begun, and boosting circularity is essential,” said Marcus Martinsson, Stena’s battery recycling head. “Cooperation between companies will be vital for a successful green transition.” 

Recovering scarce battery metals 

As EV adoption grows exponentially, recycling will be crucial to meet battery metals demand sustainably. Stena brings extensive collection capabilities through its recycling plants across Europe. BASF has developed processes to extract over 90% of lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese from black mass.

“This partnership strengthens our ability to provide closed-loop solutions to automakers and battery companies in Europe,” said Dr. Daniel Schönfelder, president of BASF’s Catalysts division. 

The collaboration builds on the companies’ individual recycling activities. Stena opened its state-of-the-art battery recycling plant in Sweden last year, with a capacity of up to 25,000 tons per year. BASF is running a pilot plant in Germany and planning a large-scale commercial recycling facility. 

Europe has set ambitious goals for EV adoption and battery recycling. Regulations require EV makers to take back and recycle old batteries. Stena and BASF’s combined strengths directly address the region’s sustainability targets.