As the demand for electric vehicles increased, batteries production is also increasing rapidly. We have to think about the environmental problems that will occur at the end of the life of the batteries produced like this.
If the batteries can live a second-life, the environmental cost used to treat chemical waste or minerals from the batteries will be greatly reduced. Therefore, in order to increase the sustainability of electric transportation, it is necessary to develop the technologies to reuse and recycle batteries.
The main key solution of this is Battery Recycling. We can reuse the recycled battery through some processes. And we can call it by virtuous cycle. Literally, battery recycling is a method to recover and reuse the main raw materials of battery through multiple processes from waste batteries which have reached the end of their lifespan. Recycling battery is mandatory solution.
Recycling process is different by companies, but each process is almost same.
Battery recycling process
First, collect the used batteries and next process is separated to 3 parts. Junkyard, Refurbishing and giving 2nd life application, Raw materials extraction and Reuse.
In detail, Battery recycling process can be divided to 4 steps:
Before shredding, batteries should be discharged and dis-assembled. And it is shredded in vacuumed atmosphere or wet processing is proceeded to prevent explosion and fire hazard.
2. Separation of materials
Second step is separation to metals, plastics, and black mass which is containing main raw materials such as Ni, Co, Li.
3. Leaching the materials
After separating of materials, the main raw materials is leached from the black mass. For this, hydrometallurgy can be done.
4. Sending to users
4th step is sending to the users who needs the each of separated raw materials. These users are battery manufacturing companies.
Benefits of recycling battery
- We can reduce the demand for limited raw materials. Because mining raw materials also causes a lot of pollution, battery recycling is eco-friendly.
- We can also reduce the imports. Because when we recycled nearby cell manufacturing sites, we don’t need to do import the materials.
- We can reduce waste disposal costs.