Efficient use of raw materials as an important component of the energy transition

Second Life Principle

Think Green aspects

Continuous climate change is originally a completely natural process that has accompanied the Earth since its formation. There were and are numerous natural causes for climate fluctuations on our planet. However, the majority of scientists researching in this field now agree that there is also so-called anthropogenic climate change, for which human activity is responsible. A major factor in this man-made climate change is the emission of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO₂), which is produced, for example, when fossil fuels are burned. At the 2015 international climate conference in Paris, almost all countries agreed to limit average global warming to a maximum of 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2100. The generation of energy through renewable energy sources to replace energy generation through the burning of fossil fuels is one of the essential milestones to sustainably reduce CO₂ emissions, to become climate-neutral in the long term and thus to achieve the climate goals set in Paris. An important part of this process is both the storage and the controlled release of renewable energies. Among other things, lithium-ion accumulators are used for this purpose, such as those developed and produced by E-Stream GmbH & Co. KGaA develops and produces.

Especially in the course of the topic of electromobility, e-batteries are an important element, which, however, does not only receive positive approval. A major point of criticism in connection with the ultimate environmental balance of electromobility is the raw materials needed to produce the batteries. Components such as lithium, cobalt, nickel or copper are only available in limited quantities, and their extraction is costly and in some cases highly polluting. The recycling and recovery of these materials from used batteries is also still relatively difficult and inefficient. That is why we at E-Stream have taken a step back to move two steps forward. Because before recycling, optimising use should come first. In other words, the service life of existing energy storage systems should be used to the fullest possible extent before the raw materials are broken down and reintroduced into the production process. For E-Stream, the optimal use of resources is the basis of sustainability and climate protection and was therefore also integrated into the underlying business model from the very beginning with the second-life principle. The modular construction technology of our energy storage systems, which is based on this principle, contributes in many ways to climate-neutral energy generation, storage and use and thus ultimately to the preservation of our beautiful planet.