At some point we need to Recycle batteries. This can be approached in many different ways and even could result in going back to the raw materials.
In cell production there is a need to recycle materials at all stages of the process. At first this might appear strange, but electrodes are coated and then cut to size. This is all part of producing at scale and at a low cost, but does mean that active materials need to be removed from electrodes and processed to recover them.
Lithium Ion Batteries of today use raw materials such as Lithium, Cobalt, Nickel, Copper, Manganese, Graphite, Aluminum. Some of them are classified as Critically rare according to a EU study.
State of Battery Recycling: Can we meet our LIB recycling obligations by 2030?
In the European Union, the draft of the new Battery Directive sets LIBs for electric vehicles as a new battery classification, with a set of requirements to minimize their carbon footprint. The average LIB recycling target will be approximately 70% by 2030, with the aim to recover 70% of lithium and 95% of nickel, copper, and cobalt in end-of-life batteries.
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In order that we can understand the scale of battery recycling requirements we must first understand the size of the vehicle fleet.
Before moving to the recycling of a battery the following options should be considered:
This approach can reduce cost, impact on the customer and most importantly the impact on the planet.
Batteries are not emissions and toxic waste free and so the life cycle analysis (LCA) must be considered from cradle to grave.