Decommissioned lithium batteries come in new use, recycling problems to be solved

by:CTECHi     2021-07-21

In the second half of last year, Jiangsu was designated as a national pilot area for the recycling of power batteries for new energy vehicles. After more than half a year, what is the current status of the recycling and utilization of power batteries in Jiangsu Province, and what difficulties are still facing?

Retired lithium batteries come in new use

Retired batteries are mainly concentrated in Beijing and Tianjin, which has a large number of new energy vehicles. Hebei, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta. 'In 2020, Jiangsu's retired power batteries are expected to be about 20,000 tons, and by 2025 they will reach about 80,000 tons.' said Hu Zhengxin, deputy director of the Energy Conservation and Comprehensive Utilization Division of the Provincial Department of Industry and Information Technology.

Hu Zhengxin introduced that the recycling and reuse of power batteries mainly includes two links: echelon utilization and resource recovery. Generally, when the capacity of the power battery of a new energy vehicle decays below 80%, it cannot fully meet the power demand of the vehicle, but it can be used in other fields. Just like the unusable batteries on electric toys can be used in the remote control, the disused power batteries on cars can still be used for backup power, electric energy storage, field electric vehicles and other fields. This is echelon utilization. If the power battery cannot be used in cascade, it will be disassembled to recover valuable renewable resources, such as cobalt, lithium and other metals.

The echelon utilization of power batteries is generally favored by the industry. The tower company, which provides communication base station construction and operation services for the three major operators, needs a backup power source to ensure that the communication 'tower' is always running. Jiangsu Tower currently maintains about 90,000 base stations. Previously, the base station backup power supply used lead-acid batteries, which had poor high temperature resistance, low energy density, and was not environmentally friendly. Last year, Jiangsu Tower stopped purchasing lead-acid batteries, and all the backup power sources will be replaced by lithium batteries scrapped from new energy vehicles. Jiangsu has now replaced more than 4,000 sets.

Recycling problems to be solved

As an emerging field, power battery recycling is currently in its infancy and faces some outstanding bottlenecks. .

'The use of power battery cascades still faces some'blockers'.' The person in charge of Jiangsu Tower said that at present, the amount of decommissioned batteries is small, and downstream enterprises in the industry chain compete for a limited amount of Retired battery resources, the purchase price of tiered use of batteries remains high.

'According to regulations, automobile manufacturers are responsible for battery recycling, but the biggest problem now is that the ownership of decommissioned batteries is unclear.' said Xu Hanxue, responsible person in charge of core components of Kaiwo Auto , Customers are mainly divided into two categories. One is that state-owned enterprise customers buy cars in batches, and the profit margin of retired battery disposal is relatively large, and they are reluctant to hand it over to professional manufacturers. Second, it is difficult for private enterprise customers who buy cars in a scattered way to track and recover.

'In terms of testing and other aspects, the recycling technology of decommissioned batteries is still immature.' Said Cai Jun, general manager of State Grid Jiangsu Comprehensive Energy Service Co., Ltd., testing is in the entire battery processing industry The midstream, involving decommissioned battery valuation and reuse allocation. Different manufacturers have different battery standards and different battery management systems. Many companies report that the industry standards for the recycling and utilization of power batteries are blank in the country, and the market has no basis to rely on.

The full life cycle of the battery can be traced.

Before the tide of decommissioning, Jiangsu, as a pilot area, has the relevant layout in full swing.

Precautions are derived from lessons learned from the past. 'Currently, lead-acid batteries widely used in electric bicycles have many problems with their scrapping and recycling. At that time, many small businesses and hawkers recycled them, and there were environmental problems such as unauthorized acid dumping and illegal smelting.' Hu Zhengxin said.

On February 1, Jiangsu Province issued the “Notice on Promoting the Pilot Work of Recycling and Utilizing Power Batteries for New Energy Vehicles in Jiangsu Province”, clarifying that by 2020, the province’s new energy vehicles The power battery recycling system is basically formed, and the power batteries of new energy vehicles in key areas are basically recycled. Focusing on the four regions of Nanjing, Nantong, Yangzhou, and Wuxi, Jiangsu will gradually build a full life cycle value chain recycling system for power batteries that radiates the Yangtze River Delta, has its own emphasis, complements each other's advantages, and competes in an orderly manner. By the end of 2020, there will be 34 planned construction projects in the four regions, with a total investment of 1.9 billion yuan.

In order to solve the problem of information asymmetry in the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain, the Provincial Department of Industry and Information Technology is preparing to establish a new energy vehicle power battery recycling industry alliance. The alliance consists of new energy vehicle manufacturers, Power battery manufacturers, new energy vehicle operation and maintenance companies, recycling and dismantling companies, and tiered utilization companies will jointly participate to build a communication and coordination platform for the entire industry chain.

Next, Jiangsu Province will develop a power battery recycling information sharing platform in Jiangsu Province, which will be connected with the data of the national battery traceability management platform in real time. In the future, once the battery enters Jiangsu , You can trace the source of the whole life cycle.

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