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Recycling and Dismantling Strategies for FCH Technologies

Research and technological development is required on the recycling and end-of-life treatment of materials and components. An initial action assessing the existing and proposing new recycling and dismantling technologies and application specific requirements will be necessary to provide guidelines for the recycling on FCH technology components. This is also an important precursor to further development and demonstration work. Besides, it is fundamental to involve stakeholders to harmonize procedures and prove the economic feasibility of the concept as early as possible.

To achieve these goals, the activities under this call should contribute to:

  • Evaluation of existing recycling and newly developed technologies and their applicability to FCH materials and components
  • Identify critical raw and rare materials and components for which new strategies and technologies have to be developed and the technological challenges related to this, taking existing EU initiatives into account (e.g. SETIS reports and activities within the European Partnership for Innovation)
  • Compliance with European and national regulations about recycling, specially the Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC)
  • Harmonization and regulatory proposals of new strategies and technologies for the phase of recycling and dismantling considering all the actors involved in the lifetime of the product (from manufacturers to dismantling, reuse and recycling entities including end/industrial users)
  • Development of Life Cycle Assessment models for fuel cells and hydrogen technologies (considering the International Reference Life Cycle Data System, ILCD, Handbook on LCA and following the HyGuide recommendations) looking for and quantifying possible energy and cost reductions linked to the proposed new strategies and technologies in the phase of recycling and dismantling
  • Business model on how to motivate, regulate, promote and make economically feasible the use of the new strategies and technologies proposed, especially considering the manufacturing industry
  • Recommendations for introduction of new processes (e.g. recovery of critical materials from FCH products) and re-adaptation of recycling centres so that the new strategies and technologies proposed can be effectively implemented
  • Event/showcase in a recycling centre showing the implementation of the new strategies and technologies proposed for at least one FCH product

As fuel cell and hydrogen technologies are commercialised they will be required to meet environmental standards and minimise impact, and part of this will be the ability to recycle and dismantle products at the end-of-life. For example FCEVs will be required to be safely dismantled, and materials and components recycled as is the case for current conventional vehicle technologies. Until alternative materials are found, it is important to recycle critical and scarce materials, such as precious metals used in fuel cell stacks and fuel processing sub-systems.

  • Provide guidance on the future need and focus of recycling strategies in common for both the stationary and the transport sector
  • Establishing a road map for recycling and dismantling strategies within FCH technologies
  • Harmonize procedures for the phase of recycling and dismantling at EU level
  • Pave the way for future large demonstration projects validating the business model proposed

Proposals should build upon the experience of previous projects on LCA (including activities covered under the European Green Vehicle Initiative) and consider the application of LCA methodologies developed in FC-HyGuide project.