Visit our brochure online to find out more about BATCircle. This brochure provides a wide range of information about Finnish battery ecosystem, BATCircle consortiums and their research as well as European collaboration.
BATCircle2.0 - Joint industry-academia project
- 6 research organizations
- 4 universities
- 2 research centers
- 15 companies
- 7 large companies
- 8 small and medium-sized enterprises
- 19 M€ total budget
- three years
The BATCircle2.0 ecosystem consists of key Finnish research and industrial actors involved in the battery metals sector. The ecosystem comprises four universities (Aalto University, University of Oulu, University of Eastern Finland, LUT University), two research centres (GTK, VTT), seven large and eight small or medium size companies (see full list of project members below) with a total budget of 19 M€. The BATCircle2.0 ecosystem has been formed under Business Finland's “Batteries from Finland” programme. The cooperation effort is expected to lead to the formation of a domestic battery metals ecosystem that follows the principles of circular economy.
Finland hosts a number of active (>40) mining operations as well as all the major battery minerals in bedrock. Currently, Finland is the largest producer of nickel and cobalt in the Europe. This research topic is focused on the characterization of Finnish battery mineral deposits.
This research topic aims finding ways of screening these domestic mineral resources more efficiently as well as sustainably sourcing and modelling them. The open research is conducted by GTK, Aalto University and VTT.
Lithium-ion battery recycling is an important topic to ensure the circularity of battery metals. The active materials on the cathode of a lithium-ion battery constitute up to 40% of the weight of the battery, while the amount of recycled Li-ion batteries is currently very low at ca 5% globally.
This research topic is focused on developing metallurgical recycling processes for LIBs to be more efficient ensuring higher elemental recoveries and reducing the environmental impacts of recycling. The open research is conducted by Aalto University, VTT and LUT University.
Battery metals such as cobalt and nickel are widely refined in Finland, with plans on lithium mining and refining underway. Over 10% of the cobalt and 4% the nickel are worldwidely refined in Finland.
This topic is focused on increasing the recovery of battery metals in current primary metallurgical processes as well as developing new metallurgical processes for indusrial secondary raw materials. Its open research is performed by Aalto University, University of Oulu, GTK and LUT University.
Precursor chemicals are used in the production of cathode active materials, which are in turn utilized on the positive electrode of lithium-ion batteries. Precise control and impurity management are necessary to fulfill the high purity requirements of battery materials and ensuring optimal performance of the final battery cell. Additionally, anode active materials are widely investigated under this topic.
This research topic concentrates on the preparation of precursors, synthesis of both anode and cathode active materials as well as their performance. The open research is conducted by University of Oulu, University of Eastern Finland, Aalto University and VTT.
Strong collaboration and close relationships between key actors from industry, research and public sectors have enabled the formation of a Finnish battery ecosystem. Therefore, common practices and procedures through the battery life cycle are required.
This research topic is focused on the characterizing, developing and assessing different phases of circular battery value chain. The open research in this task is conducted by VTT, GTK and Aalto University.
Project members and roles
The open research in BATCircle2.0 is conducted by the academic partners, while confidential research is conducted in company-specific R&I projects. The key objectives of the BATCircle2.0 project are finding ways of adding value to the battery metals sector as well as strengthening the collaboration between companies and research organizations. This will be achieved by more efficient screening and utilization of the domestic mineral resources, enhancement of the metal refining processes, more efficient recycling of battery metals, improved co-operation between the companies and research organizations as well as through the identification of new business opportunities between partners.
BATCircle2.0 also has an Advisory board, which is an extended network of national and international stakeholders interested in the ecosystem activities. The Advisory board members are annually invited to open seminars and receive news from the ecosystem and other activities ongoing in Finland.
Members of BATCircle2.0 are tightly involved in EU level decision-making and other activities at different levels. For example Aalto University is heading the Working group 2 of ETIP Batteries Europe, “Raw materials and recycling”. Company members Fortum, Keliber and Terrafame have participated in an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI). Additionally, Aalto University, GTK, VTT, University of Oulu, Finnish Minerals Group, Fortum and Metso Outotec are represented in the Batteries European Partnership Association (BEPA).