01 September 2023 — Newly launched project GR4FITE3 aims to reach Graphite Resilience For lithium-Ion baTtery anodes through a sustainable European End-to-End supply chain.
From the beginning, Europe has been a pioneer in green technology for energy production. However, when it comes to lithium-ion batteries, not only does Europe have very limited resources, but it also lost momentum when the battery supply chains developed.
The 4-year EU project GR4FITE3 addresses a unique opportunity to establish an environmentally responsible supply of battery-ready graphite within the lithium-ion battery market for use in electric vehicles and commercial utilities.
GR4FITE3 will focus on producing natural graphite, but it will also develop and demonstrate a viable technology for the recovery, “healing” and reuse of the predominant lithium-ion battery-anode-grade synthetic graphite. This is available in Europe in massive quantities inside already deployed batteries of Asian manufacture and origin.
Therefore, the source of anode-grade graphite will be low-cost material that contains mixtures of synthetic graphite recovered through recycling technologies and properly upgraded, European mined natural graphite. This unique combination of both raw materials will be assembled into battery anodes in Europe for the first time ever.
To reach these ambitious objectives, the EU-funded project gathers 10 entities from 6 countries, including 3 industries & SMEs, 6 industry-driven organisations and 1 university. Three of these partners are based in Ukraine, in particular the Zavalievsky graphite mine, which is one of the largest operating in continental Europe for the production of anodic material. This consortium will deliver both innovation and cost-competitiveness, to demonstrate improved supply chain logistics and superior performance of anode-grade graphite and batteries for the specific needs of European Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
The partners met for the first time during the project’s Kick-off meeting, hosted by the coordinator RINA-c in Milan, on the 10 and 11 May 2023.