Recycling of Lithium-Ion Batteries Stampa E-mail

Recycling of Lithium-Ion Batteries

di Alicia Mignone

Grazie alla elevata densità energetica, le batterie agli ioni di litio sono sempre più importanti come tecnologia di accumulo. Un’analisi del complesso processo di riciclo delle batterie, per recuperare materiali preziosi, ridurre l’impatto ambientale e sostenere l’economia circolare

Lithium-Ion Batteries (LIBs) have become increasingly significant as an energy storage technology since their market introduction in the early 1990s, owing to their high energy density. Batteries power a growing number of devices, from portable electronics to electric vehicles (EV). The current and largest increase in demand for LIBs to date is motivated by the mobility transition with a shift from an internal combustion engine to an electric motor in the transportation sector.

The growing reliance on batteries results in a large amount of waste generation at the end of these products’ lifecycles. Typically, the lifespan of the LIB pack in an EV is around 8-10 years, after which the battery is retired when its remaining capacity decreases to 70 per cent to 80 per cent of its initial value. The retired LIBs can be reused and ultimately recycled. The retired batteries can still retain important residual capacity and can be utilized in scenarios with lower energy and power requirements, such as energy storage stations or communication base stations. This is called Second- Life Batteries.

The present paper deals with the battery recycling process aiming at recovering valuable materials, reduce environmental impact and support the circular economy. To incentivize recycling of LIBs, the updated EU Battery Regulation 2023/1542 not only targets critical raw materials with increasing material recycling quotas but also sets standards for recycled material content in the production of new LIBs.

Different evaluations can be found in literature on the number of waste LIBs generated annually. For example, 2 million EVs were manufactured in 2018, but forecasts suggest that this amount could reach 140 million at the end of 2030. And it is predicted that by 2030 around 11 million tons of spent LIBs
will be generated from EVs. By 2048, it is expected that the total number of EVs will increase to 900 million (European et al., 2018). At the end of their service life, which is typically 10-20 years, the LIBs from all these EVs will be considered as wastes unless effective recycling strategies have been introduced. [...]



© 2005 – 2024