Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Market

Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Market

Global Industry Analysis (2017 - 2020) - Growth Trends and Market Forecast (2021 - 2025)

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Industry: Energy & Natural Resources | Author Name: Hrishikesh

Lithium-ion Battery Recycling to Attain Momentum with Booming EV Sales Worldwide

The global lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery production capacity has witnessed tenfold expansion over a matter of just a decade. While the volume will continue to mount with exploding demand for vehicle electrification. Despite exponentially growing electric vehicle (EV) sales, most of the world is still unaware of a serious real-world challenge awaiting to be addressed in the near future –the mountains of Li-ion batteries that have reached, or will soon reach end-of-life. Towards the end of 2031, the International Energy Agency forecasts a whopping 800% increase in the global number of electric vehicles, which also means a massive volume surge in batteries as well. The only way to address the voluminous lithium-ion battery waste is adoption of effective Li-ion battery recycling technologies. The waste-management hierarchy believes recycling to be desirable over reusing as a majority of the existing reusing advancements cannot recuperate scant metals from lithium-particle batteries. For repurposing, and second-use applications, auto battery packs are, currently, manually destroyed either for the second utilisation of the modules, or recycling.

Earlier considered as a waste material, the Li-ion battery mass is being perceived by the EV industry as a valued resource. As the world picks up pace in its journey towards the global sustainability targets, the other side of EV coin is also expected to come to the fore, i.e., battery recycling to reduce the enormous amount of electronic-chemical waste estimated to be produced worldwide. With a growing number of battery makers, automakers, tech innovators, and start-ups jumping into the game of battery components recycling, and recovery, the global Li-ion battery recycling market is set to thrive at an impressive rate during the forecast period.

Recycling Presents a Superior Alternative to Reusing amid Electric Vehicle Revolution

The spent batteries would introduce a chance as producers expect admittance to key components and basic materials for key segments in electric-vehicle make: reused lithium-particle batteries from electric vehicles could give a significant optional wellspring of materials. A majority of vehicle producers have embraced various methodologies for driving their vehicles, and electric vehicles available have a wide range of actual designs, cell types, and cell sciences. Proper standardisation of the plans for battery packs, modules, or cells in the auto industry is still far-fetched, which presents a test for battery reusing. The contrasting structure components, and limits may likewise confine applications for re-use. While manual destruction of lithium-particle batteries is currently being practiced using the existing workforce, it has not been regarded economical in nations with high labour costs. These clashing plan targets frequently bring about plans that are not enhanced for recyclability, and can be tedious to dismantle physically. On the flipside, robotic battery disassembly could kill the danger of damage to human specialists, and expanded computerization would lessen the cost, conceivably making Li-ion battery recycling a financially reasonable alternative.

Pyrometallurgy, and Hydrometallurgy Continue their Lead as Preferred Recycling Technologies

Pyrometallurgical metals recovery utilises a high-temperature heater to diminish the segment metal oxides to a compound of Co, Cu, Fe, and Ni. The high temperatures included imply that the batteries are refined, and the interaction, which is a characteristic movement from those utilized for different sorts of batteries, is as of now settled financially for customer batteries. It is especially profitable for reusing of general buyer batteries, which will in general be equipped towards an incompletely arranged feedstock of cells (in reality, the batteries can be prepared alongside different sorts of waste to work on the thermodynamics, and items acquired), and this adaptability is additionally important as for EV batteries. As the metal current gatherers help the refining process, the procedure enjoys the significant benefit that it very well may be utilised with entire cells or modules without the requirement for an earlier passivation step.

On the other hand, the hydrometallurgical process involves a substance precipitation strategy that permits scant minerals to be recuperated, and conveyed to battery makers for reuse in the creation of new batteries. The economics of a pyrometallurgical cycle are generally reasonable for large-scale operations, which requires a huge capital venture. While hydrometallurgical options are reasonable for limited scope activities, and low capital speculation, the units can be expanded in number as and when needed, without any monetary inconvenience.

North America & Europe Remain Key Markets with Flourishing Investments in Advanced Battery Recycling Technologies

North America, and Europe remain the leading regions in the global market for Li-ion battery recycling on account of heavy investments in advanced battery recycling technologies. Currently, the lithium-ion battery industry is highly concentrated in China, and South Korea, where a majority of the manufacturing is also based. However, there are dozens of recycling start-ups emerging strong in North America, and Europe, aiming to automate, streamline, and clean-up what has been a labour-intensive, inefficient, and a practically dirty (to deal with) process. Traditionally, battery recycling involves either burning them to recover some of the metals, or grinding them up to treat the resulting black mass with solvents. In Asia Pacific, the market for Li-ion battery recycling is shaping up rapidly, especially in the global manufacturing hub China. The Society for Automotive Engineers, and the Battery Association of Japan have both recommended the labelling standards for EV batteries with an objective to facilitate the recycling of batteries in their end-of-life phase.

Global Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Market: Competitive Landscape

In the wake of environmental concerns, and poor supply chain networks yet, key market players like Li-Cycle, Northvolt, and Ganfeng Lithium are focused on building recycling plants. Besides, other prominent companies competing in the global Li-ion battery recycling market include Tesla, Inc., Fortum, Li-Cycle Corp, Northvolt, Ganfeng Lithium, Norsk Hydro ASA, Redwood Materials, Inc., American Battery Technology Company (ABTC), Battery Resourcers Inc., Green Li-ion Pte Ltd., and ReLiB Project.

Recent Developments in Li-ion Battery Recycling Space

  • Fortum Oyj, a Finnish electricity company, recently entered partnerships with the Chemicals giant BASF, and the mining behemoth Nornickel, over the formation of a battery recycling clustre in Finland (2020)
  • Li-Cycle's under-construction recycling plant in Rochester, N.Y. will be North America's largest recovery facility for Li-ion batteries. The company strictly follows zero-emission, zero-wastewater policy (announced in January, 2021)
  • Tesla has begun recycling its own Li-ion batteries in Shanghai, China where its Gigafactory phase 2 is reaching completion. The company recently filed a patent for Ni, and Co recovery, and recycling from old, unused, and undamaged batteries (2021)
  • Green Li-ion recently announced plans to launch its second own recycling plant, especially for cathode recovery (2021)
  • Redwood Materials raised US$700 Mn to scale-up its Li-ion battery recycling capacity (2020)
  • Lohum Cleantech affirms its plans of Li-ion battery manufacturing expansion up to 1000 MWh, and 10x increase in the recycling capacity per annum (2021)
  • Redivivus® recently reached the completion of a proof of concept (PoC) for its novel Li-ion battery recycling process - Redi-Cycle™ (2021)
  • While Porsche, and BASF entered partnership over Li-ion battery making for EVs (2021), the production waste from the future plant at Cellforce Group will undergo recycling at the prototype plant of BASF in Schwarzheide, Germany. The production is expected to commence in 2024.

Please Note: The above mentioned segmentation/companies/countries are likely to differ in the actual report as they are based on preliminary research.

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