In 2019, VALUABLE accelerated its momentum. From exploring battery design and architecture in practical teardowns to building up the VALUABLE Toolbox and making new friends at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Global Battery Alliance, amongst others – it’s been a very busy year.
The VALUABLE Toolbox, as one of the main outcomes of the project, has been an area of focus over the past year and will continue to be at the top of the agenda as we enter the final year of the project. It consists of three separate tools – a compliance and regulatory guide, a Battery Circularity Index and a life cycle evaluation tool. An internal version of the tool is just about ready and in 2020 we will be looking at making it live for use within the project and by interested external parties.
A lot of research has been carried out behind the scenes to foster the development of the tool and we have prepared a range of reports listing our findings. We have looked at battery design for end-of-life, identified design recommendations to make recovery of batteries easier, and explored different technologies for battery recycling. As treatment of waste batteries continues to be a prominent topic, we’ve also prepared a set of guidelines for how best to go about this.
The VALUABLE consortium has also run practical tests to further explore the different battery scanning techniques and how the state of a battery can be determined without opening them up, what in research terms is by using non-destructive methods. We’ve created an internal inventory of cells and tested them to understand how to differentiate between a good cell and a damaged one. This was a crucial, yet interesting, test, given the diversity of batteries and cells available on the market.
The VALUABLE Industrial Advisory Board has provided continued support to the project. They’ve gathered in three meetings throughout 2019 to discuss the progress achieved in VALUABLE, the challenges the battery sector is facing and how VALUABLE could help alleviate these. The discussions taking place in these meetings have showed a change in perceptions and an increase in awareness of the criticality of creating a circular economy for batteries.
We have increased our cooperation with the Faraday Institution, who last year put us in touch with the Global Battery Alliance, where we had the opportunity to contribute to a very important report on achieving a sustainable battery value chain, which has now also has been presented at Davos. Towards the end of the year, we linked up with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and their CE100 Network. It was a great experience to host a session at their Acceleration Workshop in Stockholm in early December.
Looking ahead at 2020, we are rather excited about the year ahead. The FPC2020 conference is coming up in only a few weeks’ time, where VALUABLE will both have a presence in the exhibition space and speak on the second day about creating a circular supply chain for EV powertrains in the UK. Don’t miss us! This year, we will look more closely into battery traceability and the legal rules governing battery exports and continue our cooperation with the Global Battery Alliance, where we will support discussions around the introduction of a Battery Passport.
Finally, as VALUABLE is concluding at the end of this year, we look forward to finishing 2020 on a high note with an event to present the final project results. There are also some discussions about including VALUABLE project results in a book on circular economy. More information about this will follow soon, so do stay tuned!