A typical concern about EVs is the destiny of their battery packs as soon as their operational lives conclude. Whereas a landfill stands out as the first thought dropped at thoughts, a number of corporations are at present working to deal with the issue of EV and lithium-ion battery recycling. One of the crucial outstanding is a agency known as Li-Cycle, based in 2016.
Like all lithium-ion batteries, a battery in an early Nissan Leaf or an previous iPhone will likely be encroaching on the top of its service life. Ultimately, the time will come when these batteries have degraded considerably or had a fault, requiring a alternative.
This raises a legitimate query: what occurs to the previous, partially (or fully) unusable batteries? With new recycling strategies being applied, there are actually methods to salvage these batteries and even make the most of the elements in future battery purposes.
Lithium, cobalt, copper, and nickel are contained contained in the batteries. As pure parts, they’re able to be recycled an infinite variety of instances. Li-Cycle is an organization capitalizing on this chemistry.
This agency has an Arizona-based manufacturing facility that recycles all varieties of lithium-ion batteries. Whether or not it is a Tesla Mannequin S battery pack or a battery pack for an electrical leaf blower, Li-Cycle can recycle all of those because of a proprietary “water-based answer.”
In different phrases, the corporate would not soften the batteries down; slightly, it makes use of the answer to separate all of the battery pack elements out into three containers. On the finish of the road, the three baggage include plastic scraps, aluminum and copper, and a bag of “black mass.”
The black mass bag accommodates lithium, nickel, and cobalt. After the ability collects the supplies, the black mass containers will likely be shipped to a unique location to be separated additional.
From there, producers can produce lithium-ion battery packs with these recycled parts. Successfully, Li-Cycle’s work “closes the loop” with the life cycle of a lithium-ion battery.
Li-Cycle says that its Arizona facility can course of 18,000 tons of lithium-ion batteries yearly. Furthermore, the agency claims it will possibly recycle as much as 95% of the batteries’ sources.