The US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has developed a robotic installation that will speed up the process of dismantling worn-out batteries from electric vehicles by 10 times.

American researchers have developed a robotic system for disassembling used batteries from electric vehicles. The goal is to safely and efficiently recycle and reuse critical materials while reducing toxic waste.

The authors of the development stated that the robotic system can be customized. First, it extracts individual modules for later use in stationary drives. Secondly, the robot is also configured for deep dismantling at the cell level. This technology will be especially useful if you want to separate and recycle the basic elements: cobalt, lithium and metallized foil.

“Automatic disassembly of components that contain critical materials not only eliminates time-consuming manual disassembly, but also provides a more efficient separation process,” explains study co-author Tom Lograsso. “This added value is an important part of creating an economically viable battery recycling process.”

The video below shows how the system works.

Only a small percentage of lithium-ion car batteries are recycled today, and most of the processes used to do this are not automated, concluded Tim McIntyre, Principal Investigator for ORNL’s Electrification and Energy Infrastructure Division.