Can Electric Car Batteries Be Recycled – As the world strives to reduce carbon emissions, the entire automotive industry is shifting from the internal combustion engine business model to electric vehicles (EVs). Global sales of these vehicles are increasing rapidly as electric vehicles are recognized as environmentally friendly vehicles. However, this growth in electric car sales means that the amount of “used batteries” removed from electric vehicles is increasing.
According to the data released by the Ministry of Environment last year, the number of used batteries is expected to reach 100 thousand by 2030. Also known as “waste batteries”, these batteries are still very useful. they are free. Used batteries are an important resource that can be reused and not thrown away. Let’s look at the development perspective of the used battery market and how these used batteries can be reused or recycled.
Can Electric Car Batteries Be Recycled
Used batteries are still charging. This means that they can be used as batteries for other purposes. Used batteries contain lithium, nickel and other high-value materials, so even if the remaining charge performance is very low, it cannot be reused, but can be used elsewhere. Therefore, used batteries are considered a valuable resource. Therefore, global companies are actively entering businesses that use batteries, and expectations for the sector’s market growth are high.
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In October 2021, SNE Research, a global market research institute, announced that the global used battery market is expected to reach 600 trillion won by 2050. This means that the used battery market will experience rapid growth alongside the EV sector.
According to South Korea’s “Mandatory Return of Used Battery Supply”, which is in effect until December 31, 2020, after purchasing an EV, buyers who receive subsidies from the central government or local government must return the battery to the relevant local government. it was necessary they destroy their cars. But local governments were only allowed to “keep” these returned batteries, and were not allowed to sell or use them to companies. They simply store these used batteries without selling or throwing them away because of environmental pollution.
Last year, the Korean government established “Key Future Waste Resource Collection Centers” in 4 regions across the country to revive the business related to old batteries. Also, since January 1 this year, changes have been made in the relevant laws regarding the sale of batteries that have been returned to citizens from local self-governing institutions. The main center for the collection of future waste sources is now defining the standards for evaluating the sale of batteries. Once the standard is established, companies will be able to buy old batteries stored by local governments and use them in various businesses.
The used battery market is an attractive sector that cannot attract companies. By recycling resources, they can reduce costs and start a new battery business that will help meet the needs of the carbon society. impartiality It is natural for automotive and battery companies to focus on the used battery market as a new generation of business.
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To recycle a used battery, you must first determine how much charge is left. Once the remaining performance is confirmed through the battery evaluation process, a decision is made as to whether or not the battery will be returned. Reuse and recycle may sound similar, but they are different. Recycling means that the battery will be used for different purposes as a battery. Recycling means removing nickel, manganese, lithium, etc. from the battery. such materials will be bought and used to make new batteries. If a used battery still has charge left and can be used for another purpose, the “reuse” method is usually chosen. When the charge capacity is reduced enough that it can no longer function as a battery, it is disassembled and the material is removed for “recycling”.
One of the main use cases of battery recycling is the ESS (energy storage system). This method involves building an ESS and connecting a number of used batteries assembled in a pack to store and use energy. The advantage of this method is the organization of energy storage without building new batteries.
BMW now recycles old batteries from its i3 EV and sells them as ESS for domestic and industrial use. Last year, British rock band Coldplay made headlines when they used more than 40 recycled i3 batteries as ESS to power a concert venue on their world tour. In 2010, Japanese automaker Nissan released the world’s first mass-market electric car, the Leaf, and the company quickly entered the market for recycling used batteries. Nissan has been supplying rechargeable batteries from the Leaf since 2018 so that battery companies around the world can build the ESS. The Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam, Netherlands, also installed an ESS made from 148 used Nissan Leaf batteries.
▲ ESS at Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam, Netherlands, built with used Nissan Leaf batteries – Photo Credit: Nissan
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Recycling, which removes battery material to make new batteries, allows companies to source value-added materials themselves, reducing their dependence on imported materials to stabilize supplies. In addition, recycling battery materials reduces the need to extract new materials and helps in solving environmental pollution problems. Although the technology to recycle used batteries is difficult and therefore still in its infancy, companies around the world are increasing research and development of the technology.
Duesenfeld, a German chemical company, extracts graphite, manganese, nickel, cobalt, lithium and more from disposable/disposable batteries. Duesenfeld, who developed the stripping technology, says the technology can capture 96% of battery parts and recycle them into new batteries, a process that can reduce carbon emissions by up to 40 percent compared to collecting battery materials through mining.
▲ November 29, 2021 SK Korea Electric Security (KESCO), SK Eco Plant, and KD Power Co., Ltd. (From left: Kee Han Sang, Head of Renewable Energy Security at KESCO, Sohn Hock, Head of E-Mobility at SK On, Lee Lee, Ecospace Project Manager at SK Eco Plant Tae Hee and CEO of KD Power Lee Yang Soo)
SK Innovation is making progress in the used battery reuse/recycling business. SK Innovation’s battery company, SK On, built a 300 kWh (kWh) power plant by reusing 6 used batteries from a Kia Niro EV, and is currently using this ESS at SK Ecoplant. An apartment building in Anyang, Gyeonggi-do. Through this project, SK On collaborated with SK Ecoplant to investigate the durability, safety, battery efficiency, and energy saving effects of ESS from used electric vehicle batteries, with related organizations such as the Korea Electric Safety Corporation. prove to
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In addition, in 2019, SK Innovation developed a proprietary technology that can obtain lithium in the form of lithium hydroxide (LiOH), which can be directly used in the production of cathode materials for nickel (High Ni) batteries. to be used as NCM811*. . . etc. from used battery cathodes. In battery recycling technology, the cathode is lithium, nickel, cobalt, etc. Although this is the first time that lithium has been successfully extracted in the form of high-purity lithium. hydroxide SK Innovation’s lithium hydroxide prospecting technology can extract nickel, cobalt and other key raw materials at high purity levels.
Lithium hydroxide, nickel, cobalt and manganese from used batteries have emission reduction benefits. SK Innovation’s lithium hydroxide extraction technology can reduce carbon emissions by 40-70% compared to mining and producing lithium from mines or salt lakes, and other industrial companies recognize SK Innovation’s lithium hydroxide extraction technology as an important way to reduce carbon emissions. have done accepted . emissions
■ Related Articles – SK Joins KESCO, SK Eco Plant and KD Power to build ESS for reuse at construction sites – SK Innovation takes another step into the electric car battery market and focuses on the battery recycling business. Battery-powered electric cars are great, but what do we do when they run out? A lot of money goes to battery recycling companies, but how these companies buy batteries for recycling is important.
Call2Recycle CEO Leo Raudis discusses how the Atlanta-based company is bridging the gap between manufacturers, consumers and recyclers, making it easier for e-mobile batteries to get into the hands of recyclers.
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Leo Roudis: Call2Recycle is a non-profit organization that provides battery management, collection, logistics and recycling programs. We ship and process a variety of disposable batteries, from disposable batteries
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