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Frequently Asked Questions

Useful Information

The mining of lithium in South America is accompanied by major environmental damage, cobalt is mined in South Africa under partly inhumane conditions. We have an obligation to handle these substances sustainably.

Below, we provide answers to some questions about lithium-ion batteries and their recycling:

recycled batteries per day
tons of recycled batteries per year
square meters of storage and recycling area

How does electric car battery recycling work?

How does electric car battery recycling work?

In the menu item Battery Recycling we describe the recycling process. These are the steps needed to reprocess an electric car battery:

Step 1: Discharge

The battery is completely discharged after testing, if necessary. Our employees are trained to work with high-voltage voltages for this purpose. The energy is used directly in the operating network.

Step 2: Disassembly

The housings are disassembled by hand and the components are pre-sorted according to plastics, metals, and electrical components.

Step 3: Mechanical preparation

Shredding of the modules into a granulate, which is separated again into aluminum, copper, and plastics via a sorting system (filters, sieves, magnets).

Step 4: Separation of the Black Mass

The remains, a dark powder, is called black mass and contains graphite and the valuable raw materials lithium, manganese, cobalt, and nickel.  By means of a so-called hydrometallurgical process, these valuable substances can be separated in an acid bath and then returned to the production cycle as pure individual substances (e.g., for new lithium-ion batteries in electric cars).

What is the difference between an accumulator and a battery?

What is the difference between an accumulator and a battery?

The term "battery" is often used as a generic term for various electrochemical energy storage systems.

Strictly spoken, there are primary batteries that cannot be recharged, these are also called disposable batteries (alkaline batteries).
But there are also the rechargeable secondary batteries, which are also called "battery" (accumulator).

Despite this distinction, we mainly use the general term battery on our website.

What is lithium?

What is lithium?

Lithium is a silver-white, highly reactive light metal. It belongs to the group of base metals, which – in contrast to precious metals such as gold, silver, or platinum – react with oxygen even under normal conditions. If you were to touch it, the hand moisture alone is sufficient to suffer severe burns and acid burns. But lithium is also the lightest solid metal on earth.

Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina are said to hold 70 percent of the world's lithium deposits. But there are also large deposits in Australia.
The recycling of this raw material is so important because it is a rare metal on earth and lithium mining is usually extremely water-intensive and therefore mining is very harmful to the environment...

What are batteries for devices, industrial batteries, and automotive batteries?

What are batteries for devices, industrial batteries, and automotive batteries?

The (German) Battery Act distinguishes 3 "categories" of batteries: there are

  • Batteries for devices
  • Industrial batteries
  • Automotive batteries


Batteries for devices

Device batteries include all batteries and rechargeable batteries used in the household for small appliances of all kinds: Toys, remote controls, cordless tools, electric toothbrushes, shavers, smartphones, vacuum cleaners, etc.
Typical sizes here are AA ("Mignon") and AAA ("Micro"), for example. They are sealed ("encapsulated") and can be held in the hand without any problems. Button cells also belong to the device batteries.

Industrial batteries

Industrial batteries are batteries which, according to the text of the law, are intended exclusively for industrial, commercial, or agricultural purposes, for electric vehicles of all kinds (e-cars, but also e-bikes/pedelecs) or for the propulsion of hybrid vehicles

Automotive batteries

Vehicle batteries are also called starter batteries. This includes all batteries used to start, illuminate, or ignite vehicles.

How are lithium-ion batteries transported safely?

How are lithium-ion batteries transported safely?

When transporting lithium-ion batteries, important safety regulations must be observed, depending on their nature and condition. Especially if they are damaged, the safely packed transport as dangerous goods is important and mandatory so that no dangerous fires occur.

  • Intact and undamaged batteries may only be packed, stored, and transported in packaging units approved for dangerous goods. Cells and modules, if they are no longer permanently installed in the battery, they must also be protected against short circuits.

  • Damaged batteries must be marked as such, even if they are still safe for transport. Make sure that each cell, module, or battery is individually packed. The packaging must comply with specifications regarding weight and quality (dense inner and outer packaging; ventilation possibility; Coating in non-combustible thermal insulation material).

  • Damaged critical batteries, where there is a risk of a dangerous reaction and are therefore classified as not safe for transport, apply even stricter regulations. For maximum safety, specially approved transport crates must be used, and the transport vehicle must also meet the necessary requirements.

For the correct classification and the necessary equipment, we have appropriately trained personnel to assist you with transport. Get in touch with us, we will be happy to advise you.

How do I dispose of lithium-ion batteries correctly?

How do I dispose of lithium-ion batteries correctly?

In general, batteries and rechargeable batteries do not belong in the garbage can. In lithium-ion batteries, the light metal lithium is very reactive and highly flammable. The batteries can ignite themselves, e.g., if different poles touch each other or the cell is damaged. The danger for the employees in the sorting plants as well as for the drivers of the garbage collection is very high.

As an end customer, you can return lithium-ion batteries – e.g., from small appliances – free of -charge in any shop that sells devices with such batteries. Batteries can also be handed in at mobile pollutant collection points or recycling centers. Tip: It is best to tape the poles beforehand.

What are the advantages of lithium-containing batteries?

What are the advantages of lithium-containing batteries?

Lithium-ion batteries score with important advantages over other battery types, e.g.:

  • High energy densities (high capacities & cell voltages)
    Li-ion battery can store three to four times as much energy as a nickel-cadmium (NiCd) battery of the same size
  • Higher number of charging cycles, hardly any self-discharge at normal room temperatures
  • Greater discharge depths are survived undamaged, hardly to no memory effect



Does ROTH International only offer recycling of lithium-ion batteries?

Does ROTH International only offer recycling of lithium-ion batteries?

No, ROTH International not only takes care of the recycling of lithium-ion batteries, but is also a specialist in the recycling of other materials such as

  • any kind of CFRP/GFRP material
  • scrap tires, excavator chains, technical rubber


Dismantling (incl. dismantling, cutting/dismantling, and disposal) of large-scale plants such as

  • wind turbines (such as rotor blades)
  • airplanes
  • boats / trains
  • oil rigs
  • refineries
  • photovoltaics


More information can be found here:

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Central warehouse and administration

Weidachstraße 3
92533 Wernberg-Köblitz

+49 (0)9604-90937-0