Importance of Lithium-ion battery recycling
Date: 6 April, 2022
Lithium-ion batteries have made portable electronic devices ubiquitous
First commercially introduced in the year 1999, Lithium-ion batteries have become an integral part of modern technology and our modern way of life. They are powering almost every laptop, smartphone, and tablet sold today across the world. They have enabled the human race to stay connected and entertained uninterrupted through many electronic devices, with super feasibility to recharge anywhere.
High energy, long-term performance, high power density, and the ability to stay charged for a long time, have made these batteries popular across the world.
Further, their role will likely prove to be even more important in the future, as electric vehicles (EVs)-electric motorcycles, buses, or trucks are bound to replace conventional motor engines, further driving the demand for high-density lithium-ion batteries.
Li-ion batteries have become an integral part of our lifestyle today
This is a unique success story but it is also generating a multimillion-metric-ton heap of used Lithium-ion batteries that could end up in landfills. These batteries are valuable and recyclable, but because of many technical, economic, and other factors, less than 5% are recycled today. This is an enormous gap, which is a direct threat to our environment and natural resources.
Battery disposal leads to electronic waste (E-waste) which is comprised of toxic substances. This waste is known to have a negative environmental impact, polluting soil, water and air.
Many people still discard their batteries being unaware of the benefits of recycling
The gravity of the spent-battery situation is driving researchers to search for cost-effective, environmentally sustainable recycling strategies for dealing with the vast stockpile of Li-ion batteries looming on the horizon. The gap between production and recycling currently represents a direct economic loss and an environmental hazard. This gap results in a growing need for virgin raw materials, with their associated environmental footprint.
Sustainable Lithium-ion battery recycling solutions can close the gap to promote a healthy Circular Economy
Sustainable Recycling solutions represent a viable option for the reintroduction of Li-ion Battery compounds into the economic cycle, reducing the need for primary raw materials and are a fundamental aspect of the circular economy, intended to copy a natural battery production process where no waste is generated.
Now as we have set the base for the importance of Li-ion Battery Recycling, let’s look at its major benefits.
- Recycling will help recover expensive materials like Nickel and Cobalt. These batteries have concentrations of manganese, lithium, along with nickel, and cobalt. When properly recycled, these materials can be reused to produce new batteries, avoiding new mining requirements.
- It helps to reduce electronic waste from ending up in trash or landfills.
- It helps overcome the challenges of illegal mining, environmental harm, and human rights abuses. Recycling Li-ion batteries would help reduce the dependency on these materials, improve security of the supply chain, and reduce the human and environmental impact brought by these batteries.
More recycling would mean less dependency on natural raw materials and minimal environmental harm.
The recycling activity must be carried out by an authorized recycler adhering to all global recycling standards.
So, start recycling your Li-ion batteries today, for a greener tomorrow for all!
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