ICBR 2017: The model of only the service of a battery is interesting

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22th International Congress Battery Recycling ICBR 2017 (Source: ICM)

Birrwil, Switzerland — The International Congress Battery Recycling ICBR 2017 has attracted a large number of visitors, according to organizing ICM AG. So far, over 225 participants from a total of 28 different countries have enrolled for congress – including many from the automotive industry. The ICBR offers the unique opportunity to exchange the latest news and ideas with experts from all areas of the battery recycling industry.

As keynote speakers, who will open the congress on September 20, are welcomed Carlos Martins (Secretary of State of Environment Portugal), Nuno Lacasta (President Portuguese Environment Agency), Christophe Pillot (Director Avicenne Energy) and Prof. Vera Susanne Rotter (Technical University Berlin).

At the ICBR 2017, Professor Vera Susanne Rotter will provide the audience with a summary of the various materials that play a role in a circular economy and also take a more in-depth look at battery recycling in this context. Before the conference ICM asked Professor Rotter how the collection of waste batteries could be improved and how she generally views the market opportunities for recycled materials:

ICM: The EU requires a collection rate of 45 percent since 2016. Even if the EU Member States reach the quota, more than half of the batteries placed on the market are not collected separately. What makes it so hard to collect more batteries?

Vera Susanne Rotter: This question surely requires a more differentiated answer, because batteries are such a broad product group. Reasons for the lack of collection may not be easily generalized. Specifically very small batteries are often overlooked by consumers and it is so easy to dispose of small batteries in the residual waste, their environmental relevance and recycling potential is underestimated. Bigger batteries face similar challenges like in Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in general, hoarding of products in drawers, loss to unwanted and not compliant waste flows, product export, etc.

ICM: What would be the most important measure to improve the collection rate?

Vera Susanne Rotter: Small batteries like button cells and AAA or AA cells may require simply more customer-oriented communication and convenience to comply with the specifications of the take back systems. A long path to get there. Better inventories of the secondary raw material in the urban mine help to plan according measures.

For selected product groups, new business models would additionally help to increase the collection rate. If only the service of a battery or a battery containing product itself is sold but not the material or product as such, a battery would be returned to the reseller and possibly manufacturer after the use phase for recycling or remanufacturing. This model is in particular interesting for the wide variety of lithium based battery packs. An important aspect, with regard to the foreseen increasing relevance of battery-based technologies.

All the details on the program and the register form can be found under icm.ch.

Source: ICM AG