Analysis on the current situation of recycling of used lithium battery packs

by:CTECHi     2021-08-08

What is the current status of the recycling of used lithium battery packs in China? The vigorous development of new energy vehicles, as well as the promotion of policies and markets, has made my country the world's most important producer and consumer of lithium-ion batteries. A large number of lithium-ion batteries have entered the market, and the recycling and reuse of used lithium-ion batteries has also become a major challenge for the industry.

As the use time increases, the capacity, discharge efficiency, and safety of lithium batteries will decline significantly. For lithium batteries that can no longer meet the current application requirements, recycling can effectively play their 'surplus value.'

The recycling of lithium batteries is a social responsibility

The environmentally friendly and harmless disposal of lithium batteries meets the requirements of sustainable development. Therefore, the government implements the 'Extension of Producer Responsibility SystemIn the cascade utilization, the difficulty of recycling is reduced, and the efficiency of the industry is improved.

Lithium battery recycling is an economical choice

Battery cells account for 36% of the cost of power batteries. If deducted Gross profit accounts for 49% of batteries; battery costs account for a higher proportion of consumer batteries. In batteries, the cost of cathode materials rich in metal elements such as nickel, cobalt and manganese accounted for 45%. Through the recovery of raw materials, metal elements such as nickel, cobalt and manganese can achieve a recovery rate of more than 95%, and the recovery rate of lithium is also more than 70%, which has significant economic benefits.

For lithium batteries that can no longer meet the current application requirements, recycling can effectively play their 'surplus value': for lithium cobalt oxide and lithium ternary materials used in consumer scenarios The battery can recover the metal elements such as lithium and cobalt and the outer shell. For the power battery with more complex structure and composition, there are two modes of cascade utilization and raw material recovery: (1) The capacity cannot meet the requirements of new energy vehicles, but Power batteries with a long cycle life can be used in the field of energy storage through a cascade utilization mode; (2) For batteries with a significantly reduced cycle life, renewable resources such as metal oxides, organic electrolytes, and plastic casings can be extracted.

Multiple questions about lithium battery recycling and reuse remain to be solved

At this stage, my country’s waste lithium battery recycling system is not yet complete, and recycling technology And the business model has not yet reached mature standards. At present, problems such as immature utilization technology, imperfect acquisition network, imperfect management measures, and inadequate support policies are still plagued by the lithium battery recycling industry in my country, and the business model and profit model are yet to be explored.

The unsound system of echelon utilization is still the biggest problem facing the field of old battery recycling. There is currently no clear standard for the extent to which the battery capacity can be used in the next step, and the extent to which it cannot be used in the step and needs to enter the recycling process.

Currently, there are only a handful of high-quality lithium iron phosphate batteries that can be applied to early power batteries for echelon utilization, and the remaining batteries, including ternary batteries, have no utility value. After being used for a period of time, it is difficult for the ternary battery to guarantee the uniformity of the electrochemical performance of the internal materials of the battery, so there is a safety risk when used for cascade utilization. If the battery pack is disassembled, it will greatly increase the cost. Only when the battery pack is not disassembled can it be used directly.

Nowadays, most electronic devices such as smart phones, tablet computers, wearable devices, and electric cars use recyclable lithium-ion batteries. These lithium batteries use two to three years, the function and efficiency will be degraded, and even the end of life. With the rapid development of science and technology, there are many electronic devices, the lithium battery recycling market is broad, and resource recycling has many benefits. In the future, with the improvement of the market and policies, the recycling rate of lithium batteries will be higher.

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