Slovenian start-up develops process for electric batteries' reuse
Novo Mesto, 23 September - The Novo Mesto-based start-up Reusable Technologies has developed a procedure enabling recycling and reuse of lithium-ion batteries or electronic components. Battery cells, and thus battery packs, can be reused up to 92% after the first use. The process is to be used on an industrial scale.
CEO and co-founder of Reusable Technologies Tomaž Kren told the STA that he and Marko Vrdoljak, another co-founder, decided to come up with a way to reuse battery cells, because they are the most frequently used for powering different devices.
The battery pack casing and all electrical wiring is reused, while individual batteries are treated so they can be safely reused. They have also started repairing batteries in their original state, with the most demand from users for such batteries from cordless drills, robotic vacuum cleaners and electric scooters.
Using the process developed within Reusable Technologies, around 85% of the battery cells is prepared for safe reuse, which reduced the carbon footprint of each cell. In addition, the process extends the lifespan and use of the batteries. The batteries can only be reused once.
According to Kren, using this procedure on an industrial scale could set a standard for the entire EU and wider.
Battery cells are first inspected to make sure that they are not damaged in any way, as this could compromise their safety and performance. Then, without tampering with the cell, they are connected to a diagnostic unit and then gradually recharged using an electrochemical process adjusted to each battery.
After this process, the batteries are checked and their condition is assessed. Based on the testing, the batteries are classified for different types of reuse.
Once the battery cells are ready for safe reuse, they are integrated into two presentational products, a pocket-sized portable charger and a multi-purpose torch. Given the demand, the cells are also being sold alone, mainly to Italy and the Netherlands. There is also interest in Africa.
The company is also developing an energy storage system for households and small businesses, powered by more than 1,000 regenerated battery cells. Their main partner is the company DSV from Šentjernej, which provides production and logistics support.
Reusable Technologies is part of the EU consortium EIT Climate-KIC and Startupbootcamp in Amsterdam, the EU's largest accelerator of start-ups.
Founded in 2021, Reusable Technologies plans to employ at least ten people by 2025, and also plans to expand its offices. It now operates with two full-time employees in the premises of the business incubator in Podbreznik. In October, Boštjan Šimenc, former director of Kemis in Vrhnika, will take over as director of Reusable Technologies, Kren added.