Industry news

cylib opens battery recycling pilot plant in Aachen, Germany

Published on
May 16, 2024

Unique benchmark technology in battery recycling commissioned - cylib opens pilot plant in Aachen, Germany.

●  Aachen-based startup, cylib, officially commissions pilot line for the sustainable battery recycling of lithium-ion batteries after only 11 months: for the first time, all elements, including raw materials such as lithium and graphite, can be recovered.

●  A daily recycling volume of 500 kg possible immediately. Planning of industrial line with recycling capacity of several thousand tons per year already underway.

●  With a rising demand for battery raw materials and required recycling capacities of around 2.1 million tons by 2040[1], cylib's proprietary recycling process strengthens Europe's independence from raw material imports.

Aachen, September 7th 2023 - Leading battery recycling startup, cylib, commissions their pilot plant for the first time, which implements the startup's unique technology for holistic  lithium-ion battery recycling, in Aachen Rothe Erde. Guests at the opening ceremony include Oliver Krischer, State Minister of Environment, Nature Protection and Transport of North Rhine-Westphalia, and Sibylle Keupen, the Mayor of Aachen.

The demand for batteries in electric vehicles, power tools, and renewable energy systems has sharply risen in recent years. Recycling demand, which currently stands at about 100,000 tons per year in Germany, is projected to reach approximately 2.1 million tons by 2040, according to a study by Fraunhofer ISI. At the same time, Europe's dependence on raw material imports is enormous. All elements relevant for battery manufacturing, such as lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel, are currently imported into Europe.

Despite the increasing demand for more recycling capacity, the dependence on imports, as well as the growing regulatory pressures, efficiencies in raw material recovery during battery recycling remain low. This is exactly where cylib comes in: Founded in 2022 out of RWTH Aachen University, cylib has developed a brand-new technology based on many years of research that makes it possible for the first time to recycle batteries in a holistic and sustainable way.

Recovery of all elements

CEO and co-founder Lilian Schwich states: "We, at cylib, are proud to contribute to the sustainability of the battery industry with the successful opening of our pilot line. Our current goal, in view of the huge societal and industrial need, is to expand our technology and capacity in the next step and pursue our mission to create the habitat for a sustainable society through circular raw materials."

The innovative end-to-end recycling plant in Aachen is the first phase in the industrial implementation of the process developed by cylib. With the pilot plant, we can now holistically recycle approximately 500 kg of batteries per day. The disrupting process recovers all elements contained in batteries such as cobalt, nickel and copper.  What's more, the recovery of lithium and graphite is water-based and doesn't require chemicals, thanks to the proprietary process.

"We successfully moved into our current recycling facility in January, built the necessary infrastructure, and became operational in less than 9 months. As a team, we take great pride in this achievement,“ said CTO and co-founder Paul Sabarny. "Regarding the construction of our industrial line, we are already engaged in promising discussions with the city of Aachen and other potential sites. We plan to make a site decision for the next production line later this year."

The opening of the cylib pilot plant represents a significant stride towards a sustainable and environmentally-conscious future.

About cylib

cylib GmbH is the leading start-up for holistic battery recycling. The proprietary end-to-end process of cylib is characterized by the efficient, resource- and climate-friendly recovery of all valuable elements in a battery. In addition to the high recycling efficiency the water-based lithium and graphite recovery is particularly instrumental for the low environmental impact. The company was founded in 2022 in Aachen, Germany, by Lilian Schwich (CEO), Paul Sabarny (CTO) and Dr.-Ing. Gideon Schwich (COO). Today, cylib has 35 employees. Learn more at:

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