New process from BHS avoids hazards in recycling of lithium-ion batteries

July 2020
While the relevance of batteries and accumulators as storage media is increasing significantly, their recycling is linked to challenges. BHS-Sonthofen has developed a safe process for the recycling of batteries and accumulators in several research projects. A continuous gas-tight process from the shredder to the dryer, where the electrolytes evaporate, reliably prevents fires and the escape of toxic gases.

Recycling spent batteries and accumulators is not an easy task: If they end up in the wrong shredder, it can lead to dangerous fires. BHS-Sonthofen's innovative process avoids this danger. For this purpose, a large part of the process is designed gas-tight: From the shredding process to the dryer, where the electrolytes are made harmless, the processing takes place in a protective atmosphere.


Either one or two shredders are in operation. The BHS Rotary Shear (type VR) is used for pre-shredding. This slowly running two-shaft shredder shreds bulky batteries and packs reliably with its interlocking cutting tools. In the main shredding step, the pre-shredded fraction is brought to the target size in a single-shaft shredder, such as the Rotor Universal Shredder (Type NGU).


For further processing, a batch dryer (type HTC) from BHS is used. The dryer applies a vacuum and heats the feed material. A tube bundle heat exchanger and a plate heat exchanger separate the electrolytes. After drying, the shredded batteries no longer pose any danger. The individual components can be sorted easily and safely outside the protective atmosphere. At the end of the process, valuable, saleable products are produced.