Mitsubishi Materials Technical Development

Mitsubishi Materials will begin developing technologies to recover rare metals such as cobalt and nickel from accumulators of electric vehicles (EV), which are expected to expand demand in the future.

MITSUBISHI MATERIALS, together with Nippon Magnetic Mining Co., Ltd. (Kitakyushu city), lithium ion batteries for xEV (generic name of electrically powered vehicles, hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, etc.) are expected to have a large increase in recycling demand We co-develop cycle technology such as cobalt, nickel and so on contained in.

Demand for lithium-ion batteries due to EV conversion of hybrid vehicles including hybrids is expected to expand more and more in the future, but rare metals such as cobalt, which is a major battery material, are concerned about supply shortage. For this reason, the two companies have jointly worked on research and development of lithium-ion battery recycling concerning discharge, disassembly, pyrolysis, transportation, etc. of used lithium ion batteries through demonstration projects by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of the Environment.

This time, based on the result of the demonstration project so far, it was decided to utilize Mitsubishi Materials’ rare metal wet smelting technology and to develop comprehensive technology for the early commercialization of lithium ion battery recycling. Establish comprehensive recycling technology to safely and properly handle lithium-ion batteries installed in used xEVs and in-process defects generated by battery makers and efficiently recover cobalt, nickel and others. We will promote stable supply of lithium ion battery materials and construction of recycling system.

Both companies are planning to set up a refiner for recovering cobalt and nickel from the active materials of lithium-ion batteries developed by Mitsubishi Materials within the premises of the Japan Magnetic Migration Hibiki Plant (Kitakyushu City). In the future, we will begin the verification test by starting the lithium-ion battery recycling facility that carries out thermal decomposition, cobalt and nickel recovery, and technical verification of the facility for commercialization and improvement technology based on the result Promote joint development.

Mitsubishi Materials is a newly established EV Materials Development and Recycling Promotion Department established in April 2018 and is working on the creation of new products and new businesses that respond to EV of automobiles. Through developing such recycling technology for lithium ion batteries, we will contribute to the realization of a more recycling-oriented society.