HolE-LIB – Developing a Holistic Ecosystem for Sustainable Repurposing and/or Recycling of Lithium-ion Batteries (LIBs) in Norway and the EU

A project in the Interdisciplinary Sustainable Initiatives at NTNU

HolE-LIB – Developing a Holistic Ecosystem for Sustainable Repurposing and/or Recycling of Lithium-ion Batteries (LIBs) in Norway and the EU

Five researchers in a laboratory. Photo

About the project

From a Norwegian perspective, the battery value chain can be seen as an exceptional sustainable value creation opportunity primarily based on Norway's comparative advantage with a competence-driven materials sector based on renewable power.

The sustainability depends in part on the ability to reuse and recycle batteries and the compounds they contain. Research into factors which affect customer acceptance in case of repurposed batteries is so far extremely limited.

On the other hand, a robust recycling process needs to be developed that can cater to different battery types, designs, chemistries, etc. for competitive disruption of the battery market. Currently, there exists no techno-economically efficient Li recycling process and further, the graphite from lithium-ion battery (LIB) anodes is not recycled.

Development of innovative separation processes are expected to positively impact the circular economy and enable sustainable business model (SBM) innovation.

The project involves specialists within engineering, design and economics through a multi-disciplinary research collaboration across six departments and four faculties at NTNU.

The current project will develop a holistic understanding of the fate of end-of-life batteries by addressing technical, economic, and design perspectives along the battery value chain, complemented by evaluation of sustainable business model scenarios within reuse, repurposing and recycling.


PhD projects

PhD projects

The research work will involve development of solvents for selective Li recovery at low pH. The focus will be on experimental evaluation of selectivity and extraction performance of selected solvents, experimental characterization of solvent and feasibility study of the process, including possibilities to recycle the solvent.

Department of Chemical Engineering

​​​​​​PhD candidate

Usman Saleem


Hanna Knuutila
​​​​​​​Sulalit Bandyopadhyay

This project aims to push for closing the battery materials loop by converting black mass into a mixed metallic product directly suitable for cathode remanufacturing. Using combination of pyro and hydrometallurgy, the focus will be to maximize recycling critical materials towards circular economy and resource efficiency.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

PhD candidate

Amalie My Olsen


Ragnhild Elizabeth Aune
​​​​​​​Sulalit Bandyopadhyay

The focus will be on developing environmentally sustainable recovery of the metallic and non-metallic components from end-of-life LIBs using physical and chemical methods. Of primary interest, is recovery of graphite and leaching of metals mediated by environmentally benign reagents and purification by foam flotation.

Department of Geoscience and Petroleum

Batteries evoke emotions of both convenience, cheapness, sustainability but also uncertainty, disgust and even fear. The main focus here will be on consumer and market research to understand customer acceptance of repurposed end-of-life batteries in various household/home/cabin application contexts.

Department of Design

PhD candidate

Leander Spyridon Pantelatos


Casper Boks
Elli Verhulst

This project will address how advancements in the repurposing and recycling of LIBs can facilitate sustainable business model innovation in the electric vehicle (EV) sector. Such innovations and other changes in the value chain of LIBs can lead to new business models, support business model transformation, diversification, or acquisition.

Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management

PhD candidate

Saad Ahmed


Elli Verhulst
​​​​​​​Casper Boks​​​​​​

ABout HolE-LIB

Master thesis in HolE-LIB

Digital technologies are often hailed as enabling tools for sustainable transformations. Digital technologies can help save energy, connect people globally, and inform decisions through big data. While digital technologies have great potential, they are not neutral. In fact, the digital transformation of our societies might in many cases act as a roadblock for sustainable transformations.
More to come....

Project Timeline and Funding

HolE-LIB is funded by NTNU Sustainability.
The project was initiated in 2022 and will run in its current state until 2026, during whichtime the research infrastructure will be operationalised and made increasingly available to other research projects.

Want to be involved?

HolE-LIB is always looking for good discussions with others. Do drop us a line if you have something you want to discuss.