Li-ion batteries are extremely dangerous mainly because of their hazardous fumes. These fumes can cause severe air pollution in case the batteries catch fire even after being discarded.
Why Is Battery Recycling So Important?
With an estimated 250 million EVs expected to hit the roads globally by 2030, the number of EV batteries discarded per year will also be in the millions. As most parts of the batteries are currently not being recycled, it raises a lot of problems in terms of pollution.
This is why serious efforts are now underway to mitigate the issue. Thus battery recycling plants are being set up around the world.
What All Is Present Inside An EV Battery?
EV batteries are rich in minerals and thus extracting these resources is of paramount importance to keep the process of manufacturing ongoing for a long time without putting additional stress on the mining process.
The above image shows the overall composition of an EV battery and some of the potential minerals that can be extracted from it.
What Is World Doing For Battery Recycling?
Within September alone, last year, a total investment of €224 million has been collected for setting up four Li-ion battery recycling plants.
Here is the breakdown of this huge amount which is likely to make the switch to the EV segment easier and more streamlined.
American Battery Technology Company raised a total of €34.4 for supporting a Nevada based company. Furthermore, Redwood Materials in collaboration with Ford was able to pull up a total investment of around €44 million.
Koch Strategic platforms and Battery resources collectively raised around €150 million.
Collaboration Between Britishvolt & Glencore
Answering the call to action, a British giant in terms of battery production, named Britishvolt, has recently collaborated with a mining company called Glencore. The collaboration aims to set up a battery recycling facility in the United Kingdom.
The companies are likely to open their facility in 2023 and aim to fully power their recycling process with renewable sources in the future.
For now, they have set the target of recycling 10,000 batteries but this is likely to increase in the future when the companies expand their facilities.
Collaborative Research Invents A Unique Battery Recycling Approach
Combined research was recently carried out by teams from the University of Birmingham and the University of Leicester. They have found a unique way which make use of ultrasonic waves. Through this technology, the separation of anodes and cathodes without shredding the whole batteries will be possible.
This process is likely to shape the future of the EV battery recycling process in the future.
The UK is playing a pivotal role in pacing up the battery recycling processes in Europe. This recent study is another example of the serious efforts undertaken by one of the UK’s leading universities.
Germany Also Playing Its Vital Role
Germany is also focused on recycling batteries and one such plant is already working in Bremerhaven. This setup is recycling single-use alkaline batteries for now. However, seeing the huge potential in the EV battery segment, its services can be expanded in the future.
A recent study carried out in Darmstadt claims that Germany recycles almost 50% of its household batteries. This is already a huge figure but still has a lot of margin for improvement.
Experts believe that the global battery recycling facilities need to be scaled up by at least 25 times their current capacity. This is why so much investment is being injected into the projects.