Battery reconditioning is the process of repairing a battery that is no longer working properly. This can be done by recharging the battery in a suitable way, or by replacing a damaged component. This process can return the battery to its proper working condition and...
Even while Li-ion batteries can be recycled, if existing practices for managing these used batteries continue, the majority of those batteries may wind up in landfills. These well-known power packs include priceless metals and other materials that can be salvaged, processed, and utilized again. But nowadays, recycling is seldom ever done. According to Naomi J. Boxall, an environmental scientist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, barely 2% to 3% of Li-ion batteries in Australia are collected and transferred abroad for recycling (CSIRO). Less than 5%, respectively, is the recycling rate in the US and the European Union, which is not much higher.
The mountain of used lithium-ion batteries that once powered such automobiles is growing explosively along with the popularity of electric vehicles. According to industry analysts, China alone will produce over 500,000 metric tons of old Li-ion batteries by 2020, and by 2030, the global total will reach 2 million metric tons annually.
Reasons why Li-ion Battery Recycling
According to Linda L. Gaines of Argonne National Laboratory, “there are several reasons why Li-ion battery recycling is not yet a universally well-established practice.” Gaines, a specialist in materials and life-cycle analysis, claims that the reasons include logistical problems, financial obstacles, and regulatory gaps in addition to technical limitations.
All of those problems contribute to the well-known chicken-and-egg dilemma. Researchers and manufacturers of batteries have typically not concentrated on enhancing recyclability because the Li-ion battery sector lacks a clear path to large-scale economical recycling. Instead, they have focused on reducing costs while boosting battery life and charging capacity. Furthermore, only a small percentage of Li-ion batteries are recycled since researchers have made only minor strides in improving recyclability.
Most recycled batteries go through a high-temperature melting-and-extracting, or smelting, procedure akin to those applied in the mining sector. Energy-intensive operations include those that take place in huge commercial buildings, such as those in Asia, Europe, and Canada. In addition, the plants are expensive to develop and run and need high-tech equipment to eliminate toxic pollutants produced by the smelting process. These facilities don’t recover all of the priceless battery ingredients, despite the exorbitant expenses.
Up until this point, the majority of the work to enhance Li-ion battery recycling has been centered in a comparatively limited number of university research groups that, for the most part, operate independently. However, things are beginning to alter. Start-up businesses are commercializing novel battery-recycling technology in response to the massive amount of used Li-ion batteries that will soon be generated by outdated electric vehicles and the pervasive portable devices market.