EV Battery recycling & second life applications

The growth of the battery industry and the advancement of environmental sustainability are both significantly aided by the recycling of Li-Ion batteries. Li-Ion batteries can release toxic chemicals and metals into the environment if they are improperly disposed of in landfills. On the other hand, recycling these batteries can reduce the need for new battery production, save precious resources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A key component of the battery industry’s transformation is battery recycling. We are faced with the dual challenges of ensuring a sustainable raw material supply and offering a sustainable solution for batteries that have reached the end of their useful lives due to the global expansion of lithium-ion battery production. Fortunately, battery recycling offers a practical response to these problems.

A significant increase to 1.7 million tonnes of cell equivalent battery waste, or a 259% increase over 2021, is predicted for the volume of end-of-life batteries and production scrap that will be available for recycling by 2030. By 2030, it is anticipated that the Asian market will hold about 60% of the global market share for this waste, with Europe and the US contributing between 25% and 30% of the total volume.

According to the proposed EU legislation, cobalt, copper, and nickel should yield 95% in lithium-ion battery recycling processes by 2030 while lithium should yield 70%. In addition, battery products will need to be labeled by 2027 with the percentage of recycled material that went into their construction.

A key component of the full battery life cycle is the second-life market. The possibility of utilizing the batteries from electric vehicles in stationary energy storage systems is currently the subject of ongoing discussions. Batteries from, for instance, warranty replacements were used to build a number of large-scale stationary energy storage systems, and these systems have shown to be reliable in use. The conversion of internal combustion engine vehicles, the installation of home energy storage systems, or the electrification of boats are just a few examples of potential uses for reusing EV batteries. Reusing EV batteries, however, presents considerable difficulties because of the variations in type and capacity between the available items. Additionally, modules or cells, like those taken from the Tesla Model 3, can be targeted at the market for refurbished cells.

The 73 European businesses that are engaged in or provide support for battery second-life applications are listed below in an up-to-date presentation. Five categories are used to categorize the map:

1 Collection and transportation to the facility

2 Identification and status determination

3 Choosing the end-of-life strategy

4 Technical processing

5 integration and installation

Source: Europe runs on Polish lithium-ion batteries | PSPA (access the report here)

map showing European companies involved in second life batteries
Source: Europe runs on Polish lithium-ion batteries | PSPA
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