The disassembly and reuse of battery systems can help to improve the environmental balance of electric cars (Photo: Irina Westermann, KIT)
Electric vehicles should contribute to resource-efficient and sustainable mobility. However, the production of lithium-containing batteries currently in use is associated with considerable costs and environmental impacts. In order to be able to better recycle batteries and electric motors in the future, the partners in the Baden-Württemberg joint project "DeMoBat" are building a robot-assisted disassembly factory.
"First, we specifically break down the batteries into individual modules and cells. Then, depending on their condition, we can optimally recycle the cells and reassemble them into replacement batteries or use them for other applications, for example as stationary energy storage devices," says Jürgen Fleischer from ‚Institut für Produktionstechnik‘ (wbk) of KIT. In a competence center, the partners also check whether the dismantling factory pays off for the economy and the environment. The wbk deals with disassembly and evaluates it with regard to the procedure and process safety. Topics of the KIT Institute for Industrial Management and Industrial Production include business models, market development, and legal framework conditions. Besides KIT scientists, the consortium includes other partners from science, economy, and industry. The coordinator is the ‚Fraunhofer Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung‘ (IPA) from Stuttgart. The Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Environment is funding the project with 13 million euros.