Batteries are essential to our modern lifestyle. Hybrid and Electric vehicles, E-bikes, laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, etc. make our lives convenient because of instant power supplied by rechargeable batteries. As we continue to enhance our lives with these devices, battery disposal is becoming an environmental challenge.
Since 2006, Umicore is providing recycling services for Lithium-Ion (Li-ion), Lithium Polymer and Nickel Metal Hydride batteries (NiMH) from all possible applications across the globe. From these batteries, valuable metals are recovered so that they can be converted into active cathode materials for the production of new rechargeable batteries. From battery to battery, preserving the environment and the earth’s natural resources.
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Umicore wins at the European Business Awards for the Environment
Umicore has been recognized as one of Europe’s most eco-innovative companies at the European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE), taking place in Brussels at Green Week 2012. Umicore won first place in the process category for its unique rechargeable battery recycling technology. Umicore’s process permits the recycling of valuable elements such as cobalt, nickel, copper and rare earth elements from spent rechargeable batteries and other waste streams in an environmentally sound way. An industrial-scale pilot plant has been operational in Hoboken, Belgium, since September 2011.
The pilot plant has an initial annual capacity equivalent to some 150,000 (hybrid) electric vehicle batteries or 250 million mobile phone batteries. This market is anticipated to gain momentum, driven by a combination of intensifying recycling legislation, a continuously growing portable electronics market and an increasing share of hybrid and electric vehicles on the roads.
The innovative recycling process uses Umicore’s patented Ultra High Temperature (UHT) smelting technology, enabling a cost efficient and environmentally sound battery recycling process with the highest recovery rates and with minimal waste. The facility will enable Umicore to offer a range of new recycling services including a closed materials loop for battery producers. In addition, the technology will permit Umicore to test its suitability for recycling other new streams of materials.
The jury’s view: “In line with the Raw Materials Initiative and Batteries Directive, this project facilitates the recycling of all types of batteries together, without mechanical disassembling, thereby avoiding the release of dusts and organics into the atmosphere.”
Sybolt Brouwer, head of Umicore Battery Recycling said: “I’m very proud that we received one of the prestigious European Business Awards for the Environment. This is a recognition of Umicore’s sustainable business strategy and our contribution on an environmental, societal and economic level.”
Umicore recognized at the Belgian Business Awards for the Environment 2011
Umicore has picked up two prizes at the Belgian Business Awards for the Environment 2011. The awards were presented at a ceremony hosted by the Belgian Industry Confederation (FEB / VBO) in Brussels.
The jury awarded 2nd place to Umicore’s unique battery recycling process. This process uses Umicore’s patented Ultra High Temperature (UHT) smelting technology, enabling an efficient and environmentally sound battery recycling process with the highest recovery rates and with minimal waste.
Umicore is also involved in an innovative insulation concept for buildings called ISO.Finish™ which was awarded 3rd place at the ceremony. ISO.Finish™, which uses Umicore’s VM Zinc products as façade materials, provides a simple and effective external cladding solution that combines excellent insulation with high-quality finishing and aesthetics.