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tozero Ships Out Its First Commercial Delivery Of Recycled Lithium From Battery Waste

Last Update: 23.04.2024


Munich, Germany - 23.04.2024: tozero, a Munich-based climate tech pioneer in lithium-ion battery recycling, marks a significant industry breakthrough with the first commercial delivery of recycled lithium derived from battery waste using their proprietary hydrometallurgy process.


  • Novel Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Technology: tozero’s proprietary hydrometallurgical technology efficiently recovers high-purity lithium and graphite, exceeding European Commission’s recycling targets well above 80% recovery rate today already, significantly higher than traditional recycling methods.

  • Pilot Recycling Plant: Within just under a year of inception, tozero has established a pilot plant in Munich that has processed substantial quantities of battery waste into high-quality recycled lithium.

  • First European customers to receive local secondary lithium: tozero has started delivering recycled lithium to its first commercial customers, marking a significant stride in secondary material production.

  • Strategic Contribution to Lithium Supply: By offering locally sourced recycled lithium, tozero is easing the critical raw material supply challenges in Europe, planning to scale up production to hundreds of tonnes by 2026.


tozero’s cutting-edge hydrometallurgy process maximizes the recovery of valuable materials such as lithium and graphite. These materials are reintroduced into the supply chain, significantly reducing the need for new material extraction and processing. This reduces CO2 emissions by up to 70% compared to conventional lithium mining and processing techniques. The technology aligns with European Green Deal objectives, achieving the EU’s Battery Directive goals of over 80% recovery rate by 2031, ahead of schedule.

Launched in July 2023, the Munich pilot plant operations have culminated in the delivery of high-quality recycled lithium to European customers as of March 2024. "Our lithium is not just recycled; it’s truly beautiful," comments Sachin Samarakone, a tozero team member. "It’s a testament to the purity and effectiveness of our recycling process, making it a highly sought-after critical materia for diverse industries in Europe."

"Our mission is to truly bring lithium-ion battery waste to zero and each tonne of recycled lithium represents a significant step towards reducing our ecological footprint and achieving a net-zero future," states Sarah Fleischer, co-founder and CEO of tozero.

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"Our lithium is not just recycled;
it’s truly beautiful."

- Sachin Samarakon

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Referred to as 'white gold', lithium is a vital raw material for producing lithium-ion batteries and finds applications in underserved markets such as ceramics, construction, lubricants, specialty glasses, and more, impacting various industries and everyday life. With the surge in electrification within the automotive sector, the demand for lithium has intensified, primarily driven by battery manufacturing. Since 2010, lithium consumption for battery application has jumped from 20% to over 70% of the overall demand. 

According to the forecast by UBS, the global lithium supply deficit will appear as early as in 2026, and grow to 3 million metric tons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) by 2030. Europe faces greater challenges in lithium supply due to the concentration of mining and processing activities in countries like China, Chile, and Australia. “97% of the lithium we use in the European Union is from China. So we are totally dependent on this one on China.”, stated by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her recent speech at the Clean Tech Industry Dialogue in Brussels. "The enthusiastic reception from our customers underscores the market's readiness for sustainable and urban mined secondary materials made in Europe," adds Dr. Ksenija Milicevic Neumann, co-founder and CTO.

tozero's innovative approach not only addresses supply chain concerns but also offers a sustainable alternative to virgin lithium sourcing. With commercial deliveries underway, tozero anticipates producing hundreds of tonnes of recycled lithium by 2026. "We are proud to lead the way in sustainable practices that empower the circular economy," concludes Dr. Ksenija Milicevic Neumann.

About tozero

tozero is a Munich-based startup co-founded by Sarah Fleischer and Dr. Ksenija Milicevic Neumann. The company's mission is to establish Europe's leading lithium-ion battery recycling plant, focused on recovering critical materials such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, and graphite in a sustainable way. By reintroducing these materials into the supply chain, tozero aims to support the creation of new batteries while promoting a circular economy. 

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