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BATCircle2.0 continued Finland-based battery metals and recycling research

The demand for Li-ion batteries (LiBs) has grown significantly in recent years; consequently, Finland’s role as a European leader in the lithium-ion battery supply chain has become increasingly important. In order to support this development, BATCircle2.0, the Finland-based circular ecosystem of battery metals, focused on battery metals mining, refining, and recycling research past three years.

Text: Mari Lundström

The use and demand for lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) has undergone an appreciable increase, as the number of electronic devices, electric vehicles and energy storage systems continues to rise. Such batteries require not only lithium, but also other key metals like cobalt, nickel, manganese, copper, aluminum as well as graphite and other anode materials. Consequently, it is important to create a European-wide battery industry which utilizes the enormous business potential of lithium-ion batteries throughout the whole value chain from mining to recycling including the use of recovered raw materials in the manufacture of new battery materials and eventually, battery cells. Additionally, European self-sufficiency in the battery sector is one of the major objectives as Europe is currently highly dependent on the supply of both raw materials and battery cells from overseas. These targets also coincide with the new EU Batteries Regulation[1] (adopted in 2023), which will be introduced gradually from 2025 onwards.

Prof. Mari Lundström. Aalto University, Anni Hanén

In 2021, Business Finland granted the BATCircle2.0 consortium €10.8 million as part of a total funding budget of almost €20 million. This three-year joint project targeted at adding value to the Finnish battery metals and materials sector, is currently coming to a successful conclusion, and is a sequel to the original BATCircle (2019-2021). In addition, BATCircle2.0 has been a key project in Business Finland’s Smart Mobility and Batteries from Finland programs. The consortium was built on the principles of collaboration and joint research interests between companies and research organizations. Led by Aalto University, the BATCircle2.0 consortium consists of six research organizations and 15 companies. This expertise has been further supplemented by an International Advisory Board whose activities expanded the impact of BATCircle2.0. 

The joint research activities undertaken have helped achieve the goal of strengthening the collaboration between companies and research organizations within Finland, thereby providing support to the Finnish National Battery Strategy 2025[2] in the work to strengthen Finland’s competitiveness throughout the battery sector. On an international level, the overall aim is the creation of a competitive and sustainable European battery industry. In this case, Finland is among the global leaders in the Li-ion battery value chain, as reflected by Bloomberg’s[3] recent ranking. “We have already seen that the Finnish battery metals ecosystem promotes the growth of a European ecosystem following the principles of a circular economy and further strengthens Finland´s position in the lithium-ion battery supply chain” says Mari Lundström, Principal Investigator of BATCircle2.0 and Associate Professor at Aalto University, School of Chemical Engineering. 

Battery research is currently a crucial topic that aims to solve challenges and knowledge gaps related to the significantly increasing demand of battery materials and battery recycling. Within this domain, BATCircle2.0 aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change by enhancing process sustainability in all steps of the battery metals and materials value chain. Lithium-ion batteries, especially Ni-rich and Co-low battery chemistries, were the major topic of interest. Co-innovation research topics were divided into 1) open research and 2) company specific R&D research. The open research was performed in research organizations through collaboration with industrial companies. Additionally, industrial companies focused on their own R&D projects related to their expertise. By using this twin approach, an increased understanding and the potential of circularity has been gained, which has created new innovations and business opportunities in the field.

Over the three years of the project, BATCircle2.0 has resulted in a substantial level of R&D activities in companies and academia, as well as in published research including > 80 peer-reviewed journal papers, > 25 conference presentations and papers, > 45 theses (doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s) and > 30 public reports. The open research of BATCircle2.0 has covered the whole battery value chain from battery material exploration and mining to battery active materials. For example, by working together the consortium has produced extensive research to support exploration for potential battery mineral deposits in Finland and studied opportunities for their more sustainable exploitation. In addition, the project has generated promising outcomes that can enhance the efficiency of the refining processes and recycling of lithium-ion battery raw materials. Furthermore, the production processes of battery materials have been improved and the properties of battery active materials have been developed. 

Overall, the BATCircle research ecosystem aims to continue the great work, by promoting the standing of Finland as a world leading country in lithium-ion battery supply chain. 

BATCircle2.0 consortium consisted of:

  • Aalto University, University of Eastern Finland, LUT University, University of Oulu
  • Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • Boliden Harjavalta Oy, Finnish Minerals Group Oy, Fortum Battery Recycling Oy, Metso Finland Oy, Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta Oy, Terrafame Oy, Umicore Battery Materials Finland Oy, AkkuSer Oy, BroadBit Batteries Oy, Grafintec Oy, FinnCobalt Oy, Keliber Technology Oy, Latitude 66 Cobalt Oy, Mawson Oy, X-Ray Mineral Services Finland Oy

Further information:

Mari Lundström, Associate Professor, Aalto University, School of Chemical Engineering e-mail:

Read more:

[1] Circular economy: New law on more sustainable, circular and safe batteries enters into force (European Comission)

[2] National Battery Strategy 2025 (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment Enterprises, pdf)

[3] Canada overtakes China in global lithium-ion battery ranking (

Battery producer organisations as members of the BATCircle advisory board

The BATCircle2.0 project is an excellent demonstration of how the entire battery value chain in Finland can work together for the success of the battery sector. We, the representatives of the Finnish battery producer organisations, were involved in the advisory board, bringing to it views on statutory producer responsibility and changes in battery legislation. Producer responsibility for batteries is not yet sufficiently widely known, and therefore it was a privilege to be involved in this project. We gained valuable information and new contacts from the project to support our work in the circular economy of batteries. We would like to thank the project management for the excellently implemented project and the valuable research, that was carried out as part of it.

Johanna Alakerttula, Managing Director
Akkukierrätys Pb Oy

Liisa-Marie Stenbäck, Managing Director
Recser Oy