ERP Italia and R&D Project

The circular economy is a resilient system that is good for the environment, people and business when every stage of a product’s lifecycle, from design to post-consumption, is integrated into new sustainable and advanced compliance models.

This is why, since 2002 and every day, ERP has been promoting and disseminating the principle of circularity and sustainability through correct recycling practices, supporting the aggregation of certified and advanced actors, collecting millions tons of WEEE and spent battery across Europe.

Through its Research and Innovation activities, ERP Italia is redefining the concept of environmental compliance: thanks to long-term innovation programmes at global level and massive investments in development, today’s compliance system model will become an effective operational partner in producer sustainability and circularity, able to support companies in the green transition, offering integrated technological, technical and regulatory digital solutions.

In short, it will become the natural and progressive link between the “environmental industry” and the product value chain.

ERP Italia leads the innovation through cross-cutting circular projects:

AutoMat project

AutoMat aims to develop and demonstrate a novel paradigm for the circular economy process chain for the European battery and WEEE value chain, applicable to both stationary and non-stationary batteries and any device containing an embedded battery. It also aims to implement technical and technological strategies to guarantee a safe working environment at all times, focusing on the development of best available practices and tools to prevent and manage battery thermal runaway.

The AutoMat project’s consortium, involving 14 partners from 6 EU Member States, of which 9 companies, 6 SMEs, with in-depth and balanced experience on Circular Economy, Batteries, EEE and the ICT domains.

To accomplish this overarching objective, the ambition of AutoMat is:

  • To design and develop smart automated solutions for DEVICE-TO-COMPONETS (DTC) disassembly and sorting in operator safe environment and doubling processing rates with respect to current manual solutions.
  • To design and develop an integrated battery discharge, energy recovery and testing station, to support battery safe degradation analysis and Residual Useful Life prediction, in view of second-life applications.
  • To investigate, introduce, validate an Open Digital Platform Architecture for EEE/Battery Traceability and DBP/DPP leveraging on existing standards / specifications.
  • To enrich the Digital Platform with data-enhanced services, for supporting decision making and process control, enabling the synergic implementation of circular economy options, i.e., second life and recycling, based on the post-use battery conditions, as well as the compliance and adaptation to future regulatory changes.
  • To validate the novel circular economy paradigm in 3 industrial pilots.

The project has many partners including Universities such as:

  • Politecnico di Milano
  • Università di Pavia
  • Supsi – Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana
  • CNRS – University of Montpellier
  • Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne
  • Gdansk University

Project n° 101138532 funded by EC

BATMASS project

The battery supply chain is under pressure. With 900 million of EVs expected for 2040, the EU will need to grow its current supply by 19 times just in the next decade. Europe is moreover subject to a dependence on foreign streams of critical material (incl. lithium cobalt, manganese, nickel, graphite) as it only produces 1% of all battery raw materials overall. These are often mined in questionable socio-environmental conditions and exposes EU to price volatility and limited sovereignty.

Circularity stands as a way out. However, only 10% of battery materials is currently recovered and only 1% to 3% of lithium gets recovered worldwide. New processes and technologies are thus required which are technologically risky to scale and associated to heavy CAPEX and OPEX.

BATMASS aims to implement the first EU Circular Battery Valley. It offers a portfolio of cross-regional investments in TRL6+ innovations in circular technologies and processes for battery materials. BATMASS mobilizes an integrated interregional ecosystem around 4 Demonstrators (or ‘Demo lighthouses’) meant to scale up, commercialize and deploy breakthrough GreenTech. It taps into the innovation power of RTOs and SMEs to accelerate market entry and international replication across EU regions and beyond. Tech transfers between less developed, transition and developed regions is expected to structure this emerging value chain and anchor it into regional innovation ecosystems.

Project n° 101115058 funded by EC

RENOVATE project

The increasingly rapidly growing electric vehicles (EV) market results in higher growth rates in all the LIBs volume categories, from cradle to grave.

This trend makes ever more urgent the boosting of battery recycling for several reasons, the most important ones being:

  • the preservation of the environmentù.
  • the development of a circular economy reducing the demand for virgin materials and the Europe’s dependence from third countries.

All these crucial aspects need to be handled through the development of new recycling and re-use concepts, fostering demonstrable effects in terms of efficiency and sustainability.

RENOVATE aims at developing and demonstrating new circular economy solutions for the European battery value-chain, targeting the re-use of 100% of in-specification cell fractions (e.g. metallic foil, graphite, electrolyte, fluorinated compounds and cathode active materials) within the battery value chain, fostering a closed-loop circular approach that can reduce battery material waste going to landfill, increase the availability of battery precursors in the European battery eco-system, and demonstrate new added-value business cases for recyclers and battery materials users. All recycled materials will be recovered over all potential streams (pre-customer scraps and End-of-Life products).

The ultimate goal is to support the green and digital transformation of the European battery industry to increase its competitiveness and promote its just growth path. Holistic, flexible, and closed-loop processes for the recycling of EoL batteries based on both low and high energy density chemistries will be designed and validated to allow real and easily implementable “net zero carbon” process. A specific aim will also be smart re-integration of the side streams (e.g. waste chemicals/solvents) in the recycling processes and/or in in other industrial activities to minimize the residues coming from batteries production.

Project n° 101137745 funded by EC