PEM and Partners Explore Industrial-Grade Battery Disassembly Automation

A robotic arm close to an electric vehicle battery system Copyright: © PEM RWTH Aachen University | Domenic Klohs

With numerous partners from science and industry, the Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM) of RWTH Aachen University is researching practical solutions for the automated dismantling of electric vehicle batteries in the "DemoRec" project. At present, the various battery systems are still largely disassembled manually, which involves a great deal of time and correspondingly high costs.

Development of an industry-oriented plant prototype

The nine consortium partners are therefore working on industrializing the future disassembly of traction batteries with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning. As part of the project, a plant prototype is to be built that will serve to link automated and manual process steps in battery disassembly. It will also investigate interface processes for discharging and mechanically preparing batteries prior to recycling and derive guidelines for a future design for disassembly.

Manufacturer designs and battery conditions vary widely

In terms of a sustainable circular economy, scalable processes are needed along the value chain, reaching from the removal of the vehicle's traction battery to a return of the numerous materials to the production of new battery generations. Disassembly is of central importance in this process chain, as up to now it has been necessary to deal with many different manufacturer designs and individual battery conditions. In addition, recycling requires continuous material flows.

Further information is provided in this press release.



Domenic Klohs

Group Leader


+49 1515 2027386


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The project

  • "DemoRec": Development of an industrial battery recycling process line for automatic state-of-health classification, discharge, and robotic case disassembly of used high-capacity lithium-ion batteries

Research objectives

  • Construction of a plant prototype for linking automated and manual process steps in battery disassembly
  • Investigation of interface processes for discharging and mechanical treatment of batteries before recycling
  • Derivation of guidelines for a future design for disassembly.

Research and project partners

PEM of RWTH Aachen University
Chair of Software Engineering (SE) of RWTH Aachen University
HAHN Automation GmbH (Project coordinator)
BASF Schwarzheide GmbH
Reckelberg Environmental Technologies GmbH
Volkswagen Group (associated partner)
LKQ Europe GmbH (associated partner)
cylib GmbH (associated partner)


  • 09/01/2023 through 08/31/2026

Project management

Projektträger Jülich (PtJ)

Funding code

  • 03XP0552C


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)