SE Recycling (SER) Bioleaching KTP project for metal recovery from EV batteries
Value to Coventry University
1 May 2023 - 28 February 2026
This partnership with SE-Recycling is developing sustainable bioleaching-based processes, to recycle metals from Lithium-based batteries. This sustainable technology delivers a solution that retains precious metals in UK industry, with wider economic benefits including skills development and job creation.
SER's vision is to create a sustainable future for all through their commitment to zero landfill, with a focus on the sustainable recovery of metals from e-waste and LIBs. The increasing use of LIBs demands the development of sustainable technology, in-house, to recover metals used in LIB production efficiently and profitably. Supplies of materials have become critically scarce and are limited to a small number of providers abroad.
Bioleaching, which uses microorganisms to solubilise metals, offers a proven sustainable alternative to recover the metals without incineration. However, the required expertise in microbiology and electrochemistry is currently missing at SER. The embedding of bioleaching technology into the SER recovery process will provide the company with a novel capability and a competitive advantage.
As it stands, the worldwide production of precious metals necessary for the expected number of electric car is not enough, recycling metals is therefore essential, but conventional methods are not sustainable, this project will develop the first sustainable method to recover metals efficiently.
For the field of Bioleaching it is an application of methods tradtionally used in the mining industry into the new filed of recycling, therefore a change in industry with potential creation of a new field with new jobs, and considerable economic impact.
The embedding of this sustainable technology delivers a greener and more efficient solution that retains precious metals in UK industry, with wider economic benefits including skills development and job creation.
The project is expected to produce publications, but also reports with potential changes in policies.