The Dürr Group is delivering technology for the sustainable manufacture of lithium-ion batteries to be used in CATL’s plant that is currently being built in Arnstadt, Germany. The order comprises several systems based on an eco-friendly process for solvent recovery in production. This prevents tens of thousands of tons of CO2 from being generated every year and enables the solvent to be reused multiple times. The plant in Thuringia is CATL’s first production site in Europe.
In battery factories, solvents are used in the manufacture of electrodes, more specifically in the coating of electrode foil. The technology from Dürr enables the removal and recovery of these solvents—generally NMP (N-Methyl-2-Pyrrolidone), which is toxic—from the exhaust air flow.
The system consists of a multi-stage condenser with integrated heat transfer, which recovers 99% of the solvent by means of condensation. Without this system, the exhaust air requires thermal oxidation, which would result in additional CO2 emissions. Sorpt.X LC thus reduces the amount of new solvent that needs to be procured, which not only saves resources, but also reduces production costs.
Dürr’s Sorpt.X LC technology, in combination with a distillation system, ensures more than 95% of the recovered solvent can be reused at the required quality. CATL’s plan in Arnstadt is to run multiple coating lines, each of which will be equipped with a Dürr system for solvent recovery.
The Dürr Group is planning further growth in the business field of battery production. In September, the company announced its alliance in the battery sector with the German mechanical engineering firms Grob and Manz. The three partners want to combine their technologies and expertise to establish themselves as an end-to-end supplier for the equipment of entire battery factories.
This market is currently dominated mainly by Asian mechanical engineering firms. However, many battery manufacturers who intend to build factories in Europe would like partners from the European mechanical engineering market, so they can source their production systems locally. Dürr, Grob, and Manz are addressing this need through their cooperation.