Rhenus Automotive and TSR Automotive GmbH – which are both companies that are part of the Rethmann Group – have established the joint company known as The Battery Lifecycle Company GmbH (BLC). BLC aims to provide all-round battery recycling services along the entire value-added chain and will handle all the processing stages, ranging from the initial inspection to deep discharging and even repairing and dismantling the lithium-ion batteries, most of which will come from the automobile industry. TSR Automotive GmbH – a subsidiary of TSR Recycling – has a 65-percent shareholding in the joint venture and will manage the new company in operational terms. Rhenus Automotive – a division of the Rhenus Group – holds 35 percent.
BLC will initially operate from the TSR business site in Rheda-Wiedenbrück. TSR has already been dismantling battery packs there since 2021 and tests them to see whether they can be reused. Batteries that still function, but the performance of which is no longer adequate for use in vehicles, are prepared so that they can be reused in new fields of application – for example, as stationary energy storage facilities for energy generated from renewable sources. Batteries, which cannot be repaired and are no longer fit for use, are deep-discharged and broken down into their constituent parts.
The newly founded joint venture will in future use productive components as replacement modules for repair work and when refurbishing battery packs too. The joint company is already planning another dismantling line at the TSR business site in Magdeburg for this purpose and it is due to start operating at the end of 2023. The recycled raw materials, which are obtained during the recycling work, are processed at TSR Recycling’s refurbishing centres or marketed to the relevant refurbishing companies for the production of battery ‘black mass’. As far as the future is concerned, RETRON GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of REMONDIS Industrie Service GmbH & Co. KG, is currently planning to set up an appropriate centre for black mass production; it already operates a European logistics model for faulty and critical lithium-ion batteries.
“We’re combining the strengths of the two worlds of logistics and recycling at BLC in order to explore new horizons in battery recycling together,” says BLC Managing Director, Florian Karlstedt. “Rhenus Automotive is certified to assemble vehicle parts on the production side and can make use of its expert knowledge in logistics as well as in handling batteries – and its infrastructure meets automobile standards.”
“As a recycling company, TSR brings with it expertise in the fields of dismantling and refurbishing,” says Matthias Illing, the managing director of the new company, adding his comments. “TSR not only has the suitable business sites for this, but also the relevant permits for storing and reprocessing lithium-ion batteries.”
“Given the ongoing expansion of electromobility, we view our joint involvement as a building block to enhance the circular economy and the degree of internal value added within another important material flow cycle,” says Lukas Brandl, who is also a managing director of BLC, explaining this latest development. “In the light of the increasing shortage of resources and growing dependencies on raw materials, the activities of BLC are a trail-blazing step towards achieving all-round battery recycling services.”
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