Recovery of raw material from lithium-ion batteries

Recycling materials from batteries and accumulators

Fossil fuels are to be gradually replaced by other energy sources. The production of accumulators and batteries as storage media for regenerative energies is increasing. As a result, the need for economical recycling methods is also increasing. In addition, the climate debate, increased environmental awareness, high gasoline prices and emissions scandals are making e-cars more and more popular - but what to do when the raw materials for the production of e-car batteries run out? And where to put the spent batteries afterwards?

BHS-Sonthofen offers an efficient and safe process with which rechargeable batteries and batteries can be recycled in an environmentally friendly and safe manner - and valuable raw materials such as copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt or manganese can be returned to the value cycle.

Benefits at a glance:

  • High process reliability
  • Maximum yield of raw materials
  • Gas-tight design
  • Models in different sizes available (modular design)

Innovative and safe recycling process for lithium-ion batteries


Innovative and safe recycling process for lithium-ion batteries

BHS-Sonthofen launched several research projects to develop an innovative and safe process for the environmentally sound recycling of batteries and accumulators. The new recycling process delivers two distinct advantages: Not only are the valuable minerals prevented from ending up as electronic waste, but the process also helps to counter the impending shortage of raw materials and rare earths. An innovative method is at the heart of the recycling process, which takes place in a protective atmosphere that extends from the crusher all the way to the dryer, where the electrolytes are vaporized. This is how BHS avoids the main hazards of recycling batteries: fires and toxic gases.

Preventing hazards: fires and the release of toxic gases

The crushed batteries are heated in HTC-T or HTK-T dryers

Preventing hazards: fires and the release of toxic gases

Recycling spent batteries and accumulators is not an easy task. If they end up in the wrong shredder, this can lead to dangerous fires. The innovative process from BHS-Sonthofen deliberately avoids this danger. After the batteries have been discharged, they are shredded under a protective atmosphere using either one or two shredding machines. The BHS rotary shear of type VR handles the pre-shredding process. This slow-speed twin-shaft crusher crushes bulky battery packs and modules reliably with its interlocking blades. The cells or pre-crushed fraction is brought to the target size in a single-shaft crusher, such as the universal shredder of type NGU, during the main crushing step.

Once the feed material has reached the desired target size, the parts fall through appropriately designed grid segments in the universal shredder (NGU). The crushed batteries are then heated in batches in horizontal batch or continuous dryers of type HTC-T and HTK-T to evaporate the electrolyte components for subsequent recovery in a condensation unit. Dry mechanical processing is used to render the solid components completely free of electrolytes. Black mass can be recovered as soon as initial screening has been performed. Light and heavy materials are then sifted and separated. The remaining composites are sent for a second phase of shredding and are then fed into a dry mechanical sorting system. The black mass, smelter-grade copper concentrate and concentrated aluminum are recovered as end products.

Raw material recycling according to your requirements

Raw material recycling according to your requirements

Our shredding machines are available in different sizes to meet your individual requirements. Our systems allow you to process any type of cell and module. The end products are aluminum, high-grade copper concentrates and pure black mass, which contains lithium salts, manganese, cobalt or nickel depending on the type of battery. All three fractions are immediately ready for remarketing.

Whitepaper: “The efficient recycling of lithium-ion batteries”

Read all about the opportunities, challenges, and various process involved with recycling lithium-ion batteries.

Whitepaper: “The efficient recycling of lithium-ion batteries”

Read all about the opportunities, challenges, and various process involved with recycling lithium-ion batteries.

Machine portfolio

Rotary shear (VR)

Versatile, heavy-duty crusher for tough shredding tasks

Universal Shredder (NGU)

Continuous high-performance crusher for all cutting-related applications

Horizontal dryer (HTC-T/HTK-T)

Ultimate drying performance with optimized energy consumption.


Brochure of the "Recycling Technology" business unit
“Recovering raw materials by recycling batteries” application flyer
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Tests give certainty

Which technical solution is the right one for your recycling process? Don’t leave anything to chance. Our team of specialists will test your material at our test center and develop a solution tailored to your specific needs.

E-Waste World | Metal Recycling | Battery Recycling - Conference & Expo 2024

06/26/2024 - 06/27/2024 | Frankfurt am Main (Germany)

ICBR 2024 - International Congress for Battery Recycling

09/10/2024 - 09/12/2024 | Basel (Switzerland)

IFAT India 2024

10/17/2024 - 10/19/2024 | Delhi (India)

Safe long-term investment: BHS-Sonthofen receives order for BASF battery recycling plant

August 2023

BHS-Sonthofen is supplying BASF with a complete line for the mechanical reprocessing of lithium-ion batteries into black mass. This marks the third large-scale plant for BHS, with the first one having operated successfully for over a year. As a result, customers can benefit from the combined experience and know-how of this machinery and plant manufacturer from the South German Allgäu region, providing them with increased investment security.

recovery 04 | 2023

Recovering valuable materials - Safely avoiding hazards during the recycling of lithium-ion batteries

December 2020
BHS-Sonthofen is refining their innovative process for the recycling of spent batteries. It reliably prevents fires and the release of hazardous gases, as the crusher process is kept gas-tight all the way until the dryer, which is where the electrolytes are evaporated. This process is suitable for automobile batteries as well as lithium-ion and other household batteries. The resulting products are ready to be sold.
recovery 06 | 2020

New process by BHS-Sonthofen

August 2020
Fossil fuels are being increasingly replaced by other energy sources. Their use requires efficient storage technologies. However, lithium batteries and accumulators are often criticized, because the raw materials used for this technology are produced in an environmentally questionable manner in regions that are considered social hotspots. This makes it all the more important to have efficient and safe processes that allow the raw materials that went into the depleted batteries and accumulators to be returned to the material cycle. Together with its subsidiary AVA, BHS has developed a process that allows for the safe and efficient recycling of lithium-ion accumulators and batteries.
recovery 4 | 2020

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