Evonik targets electric car battery recycling, food technology in innovation drive

Evonik targets electric car battery recycling, food technology in innovation drive

Gdansk (Reuters) – German company Evonik Industries is finding ways to help recycle lithium from electric car batteries and reduce the need for crop fertilizer as part of an innovative drive that is already leaning towards adding 1 billion euros ($998 million) to sales in the 10 years. Until 2025.

At its innovation conference Thursday, the specialty chemical company said it considers electric vehicles, food production and meat testing as three particularly interesting areas.

According to Evonik, up to 95% of the lithium in lithium-ion electric vehicle batteries is not recycled, mainly due to higher costs.

Their solution, which is currently being tested on a pilot scale, increases efficiency by using an electrochemical process with a ceramic membrane, resulting in a lithium battery for use in new cells.

She said the specialists at Evonik are confident that the ceramic membrane process will be ready for the market within three to five years.

For agriculture, the company is developing bacteria as bio-catalysts to provide the nitrogen needed to grow grains such as wheat and corn, instead of energy-intensive synthetic fertilizers.

“Our idea was to supply the plants with nitrogen from the atmosphere,” said Jan Walter, who heads the farm to fork division of the Creavis innovation unit at Evonik.

The company said it expects to launch its first commercial biostimulant formulations between 2025 and 2027.

It is also working on technology to help determine the origin and quality of chicken products, with the goal of capitalizing on consumer demand for increased transparency.

Evonik said development work on the product, which uses an epigenetics and bioinformatics platform to test many animal welfare factors, is well developed and specific tests can be made available to customers in the short to medium term.

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