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Comparison of Lithium-Ion Recycling Processes for Electric Vehicle Batteries


Abstract and Figures

Over three hundred thousand battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) are currently registered in the United States as of 2015, which is less than one percent of the total market share. A quickly growing market for electric vehicles (EV) will inevitably lead to a high number of EV batteries reaching the end-of-life (EOL). Manufacturers have to create processes to ensure a sustainable recycling management system, while still fulfilling government regulations. Recycling used EV batteries presents an economical and ecological challenge, considering the increased volume and diversity of car batteries, and the lack of a generalizable disposal process. Although the literature discusses the EOL issues with respect to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), this paper presents a comprehensive literature review of recycling processes for lithium-ion batteries (LIB). This comparison explores the generalizability of the disposal processes for LIBs and quantifies the process value via Value Theory.
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Proceedings of the 2016 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference
H. Yang, Z. Kong, and MD Sarder, eds.
Comparison of Lithium-Ion Recycling Processes
for Electric Vehicle Batteries
Jan Engel and Gretchen A. Macht, Ph.D.
The University of Rhode Island
Kingston, RI
Over three hundred thousand battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) are
currently registered in the United States as of 2015, which is less than one percent of the total market share. A
quickly growing market for electric vehicles (EV) will inevitably lead to a high number of EV batteries reaching the
end-of-life (EOL). Manufacturers have to create processes to ensure a sustainable recycling management system,
while still fulfilling government regulations. Recycling used EV batteries presents an economical and ecological
challenge, considering the increased volume and diversity of car batteries, and the lack of a generalizable disposal
process. Although the literature discusses the EOL issues with respect to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), this paper
presents a comprehensive literature review of recycling processes for lithium-ion batteries (LIB). This comparison
explores the generalizability of the disposal processes for LIBs and quantifies the process value via Value Theory.
Electric Vehicles, Lithium-ion Batteries (LIBs), Recycling Processes
1. Introduction
Even though the target set by the U.S. government of having 1,000,000 electrically operating vehicles by 2015 has
not been achieved [1, 2], the number of registered electric vehicles will rise continuously and will inevitably lead to
an increased number of multiple types of EV batteries reaching the end-of-life (EOL) [2, 3]. Dismantling and
recycling vehicles needs to meet a minimum standard of 95% of the average vehicle weight in the EU currently, the
U.S. will follow in the nearby future (2000 EU ELV Directive) [4]. The battery weight (approximately 1200 lbs.) in
relation to the total car weight (approximately 4800 lbs.) of a TESLA Model S [5], for example, is approximately
25%, meaning the battery must definitely be a part of the recycling process. The development of a disassembly and
recycling networks is necessary to efficiently collect and recycle huge amounts of spent batteries [2, 6]. In the past,
for economic reasons, the recycling of cobalt, nickel, and copper was the main focus of LIB recycling processes.
However, a future shortage of lithium is predicted within the next 100 years, if recycling processes that can regain
90% of used lithium are not implemented [7, 8]. Research in this field of study is invaluable for the future and needs
to be intensified.
2. Electric Vehicle (EV) Lithium-ion Batteries (LIBs)
The most common battery technologies for EVs are lead-acid batteries, nickel-cadmium batteries, nickel-metal-
hybrid batteries, sodium-sulfur batteries, and LIBs [9]. LIBs are used extensively and exhibit superior cycle life
compared to similar technologies, but suffer from reduced power capabilities considering age and cycle [10]. LIBs
also show the highest specific energy density of up to 200 Wh/kg, a constant voltage discharging process, a low self-
discharging rate over time, and are simple to charge and maintain. The LIB type therefore fits the upcoming
requirements (charging infrastructure, charging time, driving range) regarding of electric vehicles the best [11]. LIB
cells are assembled in battery modules, which are subunits of the entire battery system. An extremely high number
of cells are packed together in a single plastic case, connected into modules with control circuitry attached. Lithium-
ion technology is based on a lithium-ion movement between the anode and cathode, forcing electrons to move
between them. Conventional batteries use a redox reaction to generate electricity instead [12]. The basic components
of a lithium-ion cell are cathode, anode, electrolyte and a separator [7, 10].
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Battery recyclers deal with difficult circumstances, such as diverse feedstock with numerous battery types, as well as
dealing with harmful and dangerous components. The disposal of EOL vehicle batteries is regulated by law (EU
Directive: by 2016 45% of used batteries must be collected and recycled each year [4]), which must be taken into
account by the producing manufacturers [6]. Manufacturers need to provide a sustainable, EV consumer free of
charge redemption solution for battery recycling. A generic recycling process for LIBs of EOL electric vehicles can
generally be structured as a sequence of collecting, sorting, handling, eliminating, and distributing, with the goal of
recovering useful battery materials [13]. A manufacturer can process the batteries themselves or be a part of a
cooperative recycling network. The basic principles of an industrialized recycling process for EV batteries are
illustrated in the Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Industrialized Recycling Processes for EV LIBs
LIBs contain valuable components and materials that should be recovered by an efficient recycling process.
Currently, there are different methods to recycle LIBs, which combine various process operations. In those methods,
batteries are first mechanically processed, and then hydrometallurgically and pyrometallurgically processed [14, 15].
The deactivation step is used to minimize the risk of potential energized or chemical reactions of charged LIBs.
Deactivation covers thermal pretreatment to volatilize the electrolyte or decompose all organic compounds, or a
discharging step to reduce the hazard level, as well as freezing of the electrolyte to prevent further electrochemical
reactions. During the mechanical preparation process, LIB packs are disassembled into single components and often
manually dismantled or shredded [16, 17]. The mechanical treatment implies the crushing of batteries to open cells
and modules in order to sort and classify valuable materials, such as copper foil, aluminum foil, separator, and
coating materials. In pyrometallurgical processes, various components of battery cells are liquefied. These processes
enable the recovery of the transition metals nickel, cobalt, and copper, while lithium and aluminum remain in the
slag. To recover the lithium, further processing steps are necessary. Hydrometallurgical processes are used to
recover pure metals from coating materials, either from mechanical processes or from the resulting slag from the
pyrometallurgical processes. Hydrometallurgical processes, also include leaching of the educts, extraction,
crystallization, and precipitation [7, 18].
3. Recycling Process of LIBs
This paper presents a comprehensive literature review of recycling processes for LIBs [14, 15]. Several globally
operating industrialized recycling processes are able to disassemble and recycle LIBs were reviewed. Companies
and research institutes capable of recycling LIBs were discovered in Germany, Switzerland, and the United States.
An overview of current industrialized processes is depicted in the research papers of [19] and [20]. Different
combinations of unit operations (i.e. deactivation, mechanical treatment, hydrometallurgy, and pyrometallurgy)
result in different industrialized recycling processes for each company [21]. Comparisons of recycling methods can
provide further information about a possible generalizable process to dispose and recycle EV LIBs. All
industrialized recycling processes for EV LIBs differ in certain ways, that comprise a broad variety of methods, due
to the fact that the continuous development of battery systems in the area of design or materials has resulted in the
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lack of a standardized industrial recycling process. Only a handful of companies are making serious progress on the
recovery of lithium-ion in high purity [17].
The most promising and globally operating recycling companies with the potential to succeed in the area of EV LIB
recycling in the long run are reviewed in a more detailed way. Those companies are frequently mentioned in
literature, journals, reports, and in the media with a recognizable influence on the global market [9, 11, 14, 15, 20,
21]. Companies one, two, and three are using processes with the same basic unit operations: mechanical treatment
and hydrometallurgical processing. Company 5 insists on the recovery of lithium by pyrometallurgical process
operations only, whereas company 4 incorporates all four processes mentioned: deactivation, mechanical treatment,
and both hydro- and pyrometallurgical processing [11, 17]. To get a general overview of the comparability of the
different industrialized recycling processes, the following figure (Figure 2) shows a highly simplified visualization.
Figure 2: General Unit Operations of Industrialized Recycling Processes for EV LIBs
Comparing the different unit operations of the recycling companies, similarities become visible. Even though the
general treatments are mostly similar, the methods within these processes differ. The following figures illustrate the
similarities and differences within the mechanical treatment and hydrometallurgical process by analyzing the
recycling steps of companies 1, 2, and 3 (Figure 3). Additionally, some input and output material streams of the
specific processes are taken into account and visualized (Figure 3). The amount of data given strongly relies on the
available data output of made available by the analyzed recycling companies based on their websites or the reviewed
literature [9, 11, 14, 15, 20, 21].
Figure 3: Comparison Unit Operations/Material Flow: Company 1, Company 2, Company 3
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By contrast, the recycling company 4 relies on pyrometallurgical processes to recycle LIBs. Similarities are
noticeable in early process stages, in which the batteries undergo a similar pretreatment process. The following
figure illustrates the specific processes within the pyrometallurgical unit operation of company 4’s recycling process
in a simplified way. Additionally, all given data input and output material streams are visualized (Figure 4).
Figure 4: Unit Operations/Material Flow: Company 4
Company 5 demonstrates a recycling process for EV LIBs in which all operation units are used at least once during
the disposal and recycling process. Besides similar crossings in the pretreatment phase, the methods and material
streams differ within the unit operations. Figure 5 below illustrates the recycling process for EV LIBs of company 5,
besides showing the specific methods used within all treatment phases. All given data concerning material input and
output streams are visualized (Figure 5).
Figure 5: Unit Operations/Material Flow: Company 5
A general process of recycling LIBs should be a combination of different unit operations, in which lithium is
ultimately recovered. The different process paths are always a combination of deactivation, mechanical treatment,
hydrometallurgy, and/or pyrometallurgy [13]. All recycling processes for EV LIBs show comparable elements.
Analyzing the specific unit operations in a more detailed way, it is difficult to make a statement about the
comparability due to the company-based differences. The choice of process depends on the battery type, the battery
size, the construction, and the materials used [7]. Even though basic unit operations of industrialized EV LIB
recycling processes are identical, this does not indicate that the actual processes within these units are the same. An
in-depth analysis of the incoming and outgoing material streams mentioned is currently not possible using the
information provided by the companies. The amount of information is not enough to completely describe each
recycling step and material flow, making it challenging to compare these processes.
4. Value Theory of Recycling Processes of LIBs
Value Theory was applied to the industrialized recycling processes for EV LIBs found within the literature. The
purpose of establishing value for a particular process was to see if one process was either more powerful than
another or more generalizable. Since each recycling process occurs within industry, there is little to no uncertainty in
the recycling process and it is not a prediction of future use, capacity, or yield.
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To quantify the process value of recycling EV LIBs via Value Theory (Figure 6), three different criteria have been
established. Each criterion was valued with a specific weight, depending on the importance of the processes, and
treated in an additive model, as they are mutually and preferentially independent. The criteria evaluated are the
recycling efficiency, the CO2 recycling saving potential, and the recycling capacity. The criteria weights were scale-
based, depending on the reviewed literature and authors’ assessment. A scale from 1 to 9 (i.e., scale = {1, 3, 5, 7, 9})
was set up to rate the previously established criteria for the different recycling processes of each company. Within a
specific interval, the criteria were graded according to the scale demonstrated in Figure 6. In the end, the goal was to
get a process rating value and quantify the different industrialized processes.
Figure 6: Value Theory Companies Recycling Processes (RP) for EV LIBs
Data found in research literature, articles, news reports, and information on company websites were implemented
into Figure 6 [9, 11, 14, 15, 20, 21]. Even though all reviewed recycling processes run on an industrialized basis,
there are limited data available. Regarding the recycling efficiency, the targets set by the companies are in
accordance with the 2000 EU ELV Directive to recycle 95% of the vehicle’s weight [4]. Detailed information about
the current recycling efficiency of the companies is not stated by the firms. Yet, even the companies who have
reported on efficiency are currently performing well under those standards. Additionally, the values illustrating the
CO2 recycling saving potential are not specifically mentioned anywhere, yet are simply advertised as “efficient
processes.” Comparable values were given regarding the recycling capacity for LIBs, leading to a somewhat
comprehensive rating. Unfortunately due to the lack of currently published information, the value theory evaluation
(and thus a best process or even generalizable model) could not be obtained. The companies are currently facing
constant competition in order to maintain a leading role in the global competitive market for recycling EV LIBs;
therefore the firms share limited information.
5. Conclusion
A growing market for electric vehicles will inevitably lead to a high number of EV batteries reaching the EOL.
Manufacturers have to consider creating disassembly plans and processes to ensure a sustainable recycling
management system, while still fulfilling government regulations [11]. In the past, for economic reasons, the
recycling of cobalt, nickel, and copper was the main focus of LIB recycling processes. However, a future shortage of
lithium is predicted within the next 100 years, if recycling processes that can regain 90% of used lithium are not
implemented [7, 8]. Research in this field of study is invaluable and needs to be intensified. Lithium-ion batteries are
highly standardized with regard to dimensions and performance classes, which provides a high planning reliability.
Due to a continuous development of battery systems in the area of design or materials, however, no standardized
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industrial recycling process for EV LIBs currently exists [7, 16]. Uncertainty factors in the areas of metal prices,
recycling processes, battery lifespan, and prevalent LIB technology will influence the future recycling development
process. A company-wide automation of disassembly sequences of battery systems is difficult to achieve due to the
large variety of battery systems.
Overall, the purpose of this work was to compare and contrast various methods of recycling EV LIBs via Value
Theory. The companies are currently facing constant competition in order to maintain a leading role in the global
competitive market for recycling EV LIBs; therefore, the firms share limited information. This effort could currently
not be completed; future work will attempt to pursue a completed Value Theory analysis through interviews with
these companies. Additionally, there is potential for more attributes of comparison to arise, which might change the
output and the type of model used (i.e., additive or multiplicative).
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3, Thomé-Kozmiensky, K.J., and Goldmann, D. (eds.), Vivis Verlag, Neuruppin, 663-674
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Electrodes and Electrode Production Rejects,” appears in Globalized Solutions for Sustainability in
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... Recycling valuable metals in lithium-ion batteries helps ensure the industry's long-term viability by bringing back lithium-ion batteries compounds into the economic and industrial cycle [15]. Recycling is an essential component of the circular economy [18]. The recycling of spent lithium-ion batteries will reduce disposal issues from an environmental perspective [4]. ...
Countless forecasts in recent years have anticipated broad acceptance of electric cars, which would be predominantly powered by lithium-ion batteries. Considering the vital point that future supply and demand is highly uncertain, estimating the market is always an error-prone analysis; however, due to emerging problems of global warming and shifting to Carbon-free technologies, It seems a demand-boom will happen for Green Technologies in the next 50 years. Hence, to supply the energy chain and avoid emitting more greenhouse gases, the focus is more zoomed on the battery technologies and green electricity production industries. Green electricity production is directly linked to the rare earth metals industry. On the other side, new battery technologies are growing fast depending on lithium and other metals in the battery cathode, including cobalt, nickel and manganese. As a result, lithium and other metals in these technologies are new energy carriers, and from this point of view, anyone who lives in the world will be in effect of production, usage, recycling and more critical, its effects on the world metal & energy market. Because of its growing demand in technological applications, lithium is one of the most strategic elements for the rest of the twenty-first century. As a result, new efforts should be concentrated on improving the recycling process. Bringing all together, develop industry-wide pathways for battery minerals with respect to social and environmental footprints is vital due to the undebatable importance of the issue. The concept of criticality is also introduced and debated. In a larger picture, minimizing operating costs and loss of materials can be achieved firstly by increasing the efficiency of the recycling process. Investigation of the extraction properties of Cyanex 936 for lithium recovery from spent lithium-ion batteries is the subject of the current research. The goal of this thesis was to extract lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese by solvent extraction method from a produced synthetic solution. The entire process was carried out in the laboratory to ensure a precise understanding of the solvent and to ensure quality control. The ability of Cyanex936 to separate lithium from sodium in a solution is the subject of the second section of this research. The MP analytical instrument monitors the process's quality.
... Considering the complete process of recycling materials from a Lithium-ion battery, it should include a combination of unit operations, in which Lithium and other materials are eventually recovered. Whatever the actual process path in the recycling industry is, it will always be a combination of the following fundamental operations: deactivation, thermal and/or mechanical pre-treatments, hydrometallurgy and/or pyrometallurgy [48], [49]. Complete technical insight on the opportunities, issues and processes of recycling treatments for Lithium-ion batteries can be found in [11], [50], and [51]. ...
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In the last few years, the automotive industry has been moving towards fuel-free and economically sustainable alternatives, motivated by the latest trends in the market and new regulations about CO2 emissions. Hybrid and electric vehicles feature a transmission drive with one or more electrical motors powered by Lithium batteries. Thus, Lithium batteries are increasingly used in onboard energy storage systems, leading new economical, technical and environmental challenges which are of fundamental importance in this early stage for the next automotive generation. Recycling materials from used Lithium batteries can also moderate the price of virgin materials, by reducing the price disposal as well as the dependence of manufacturers on exporting countries. Furthermore, recycling Lithium-ion batteries has significant environmental benefits, such as containing the risk of chemical pollution and improving safety in storage facilities for exhausted batteries worldwide. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive insight on Lithium-ion battery recycling for scientific research and industrial applications, examining the economic, technical and environmental aspects of this topic.
... Because batteries for electric cars are designed primarily for use in vehicles and not optimized for reusability. Suitable processes are still under development or very complex, and many preparatory work is needed before actual extraction of raw materials (Engel and Macht 2016). About 60-70% of a battery pack are battery cells or modules, the rest consist of connectors, cooling elements, substrates and the housing. ...
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... Heat generated from processes like pyrolysis could be converted into electricity through thermal electric generators. Across the planet, studies are being conducted on novel energy storage devices like lithium ion batteries [56] that utilize smaller doses of energy, to improve electrical storage [57], power outputs, and recyclability [58]. In an energy balanced environment, our dumped organic waste facilities could double as energy generation nodes providing both biofuels and electricity for the surrounding areas. ...
Today, in order to reduce fossil fuel consumption and to prevent gas emissions that are increasing day by day, vehicles working with electrical energy have started to be produced and developed. The environmental impact of the batteries of an increasing number of electric vehicles is an undeniable fact and is predicted to pose a huge problem. In this study, alternative recycling processes have been determined by examining the literature and the applications for waste lithium-ion batteries, and these processes have been compared with the different decision making techniques (Analytic Network Process (ANP) and TOPSIS) with technical, economic and environmental dimensions. In addition, sensitivity analysis has been applied for robustness of the results. For the wastes, the most appropriate recycling method in the context of circular economy has been determined as “Direct Recycling”in all of the studies.
Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) contain valuable elements, which need to be recovered to sustain the production of new LIBs and reduce the use of virgin resources. In this paper, smelting recovery of Co, Ni, Mn, and Li from three types of LIBs materials is demonstrated in two trials (Trial I and Trial II) in a pilot-scale Electric Arc Furnace. After smelting reduction, Co, Ni, and Mn are recovered in the metal alloys, and lithium is concentrated and recovered in the flue dust in the form of Li2CO3. Co, Ni, and Mn's yields are respectively 98.2%, 98.4%, and 91.5% in Trial I, and respectively 97.9%, 97.7%, and 85.3% in Trial II. No significant differences in Co and Ni yields are observed concerning the use of different LIBs materials. The lithium yields in the flue dust are respectively 68.3% and 60.9% for Trial I and Trial II. By applying a primary carbonated-water leaching, around 60% salt (mainly Li2CO3) can be extracted from the flue dust; the purity of the extracted Li2CO3 could reach up to 95.8%. In the end, a smelting recovery process for LIBs is proposed.
Tremendous efforts are being made to develop electrode materials, electrolytes, and separators for energy storage devices to meet the needs of emerging technologies such as electric vehicles, decarbonized electricity, and electrochemical energy storage. However, the sustainability concerns of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) and next-generation rechargeable batteries have received little attention. Recycling plays an important role in the overall sustainability of future batteries and is affected by battery attributes including environmental hazards and the value of their constituent resources. Therefore, recycling should be considered when developing battery systems. Herein, we provide a systematic overview of rechargeable battery sustainability. With a particular focus on electric vehicles, we analyze the market competitiveness of batteries in terms of economy, environment, and policy. Considering the large volumes of batteries soon to be retired, we comprehensively evaluate battery utilization and recycling from the perspectives of economic feasibility, environmental impact, technology, and safety. Battery sustainability is discussed with respect to life-cycle assessment and analyzed from the perspectives of strategic resources and economic demand. Finally, we propose a 4H strategy for battery recycling with the aims of high efficiency, high economic return, high environmental benefit, and high safety. New challenges and future prospects for battery sustainability are also highlighted.
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This article describes two ways to recover valuable and ecologically critical active materials from spent lithium-ion electrodes and electrode production rejects, using the example of a system containing LiNi0.33Co0.33Mn0.33O2 (NMC) active material and a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVdF) binder. First, a physical process using thermal treatment and mechanical stressing to separate the coating from the aluminum foil is discussed. Furthermore, a wet chemical processing using the solvent n-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) is presented. Recovered coating materials from both processes were characterized by laser diffraction spectroscopy and atomic absorption spectroscopy. Additionally, recycling electrodes were produced and successfully tested in battery test cells. KeywordsElectrode Recycling-Lithium-Ion-Batteries-Production Rejects
Die Lithium-Ionen-Batterie wird zukünftig zwei großtechnische Anwendungen dominieren: Hybrid- und Elektrofahrzeuge im Bereich zukünftiger Mobilitätsstrategien und Zwischenspeicher elektrischer Energie im Umfeld der Dezentralisierung der Energieerzeugung. Das vorliegende Fachbuch stellt das Speichersystem Lithium-Ionen-Batterien in all seinen Facetten vor. Nach einer Übersicht über die heute verfügbaren Speichersysteme werden die Komponenten einer Lithium-Ionen-Batterie - von den Anoden- und Kathodenmaterialien bis hin zu den notwendigen Dichtungen und Sensoren - ausführlich beschrieben; auch die Battery-Disconnect-Unit, das thermische Management und das Batterie-Management-System werden abgehandelt. Ein weiteres Kapitel behandelt die Fertigungsverfahren, die dazu notwendigen Anlagen und den Aufbau einer Fabrik zur Fertigung von Zelle und Batterie. Die beiden großen Anwendungsbereiche der Lithium-Ionen-Batterie-Technologie, also der Einsatz in Hybrid- und Elektrofahrzeugen und die Nutzung als Zwischenspeicher, werden ebenfalls dargestellt, bevor im letzten Kapitel Querschnittsthemen wie Recycling, Transport, elektrische und chemische Sicherheit oder Normung diskutiert werden. Ein umfangreiches Glossar schließt das Buch ab. Der Inhalt Einleitung.- Übersicht über die Speichersysteme / Batteriesysteme.- Lithium-Ionen Batterien.- Batterieproduktion.- Querschnittstehmen.- Batterieanwendungen.- Autorenverzeichnis.- Index. Die Zielgruppen Das Fachbuch wendet sich an alle Personen, die im Umfeld der Lithium-Ionen-Batterie tätig sind: Von Studierenden im Bereich der Energietechnik bis hin zum Geschäftsführer von Zulieferfirmen im Umfeld der Automobilindustrie. Der Herausgeber Dr. Reiner Korthauer, geboren 1955, hat nach dem Abitur Elektrotechnik an der Universität Hannover studiert, bevor er Mitarbeiter der Universität Paderborn wurde. Die Promotion erfolgte an der Johannes Kepler Universität Linz. Nach seiner Tätigkeit bei der Nixdorf Computer AG wurde er Mitarbeiter im ZVEI - Zentralverband Elektrotechnik‐ und Elektronikindustrie e.V. Dort ist er Geschäftsführer des Fachverbandes Transformatoren und Stromversorgungen und seit 2010 Herausgeber der Handbücher Elektromobilität.
Für die strategische Planung des Recyclings von Lithium-Ionen-Batterien aus Elektrofahrzeugen ist ein umfassendes Verständnis der Fahrzeug-, Batterie- und Recyclingtechnologien sowie der Bedeutung des Recyclings für betroffene Akteure erforderlich. Eine wesentliche Rolle kommt hierbei den vorherrschenden Unsicherheiten zu. Zur Erarbeitung des Verständnisses werden in diesem Kapitel die Grundlagen für das Recycling der Batterien dargelegt sowie in die Nomenklatur und Systematik eingeführt. Zunächst werden in Abschnitt 2.1 die technischen Eigenschaften und der Aufbau von Lithium-Ionen-Batteriesystemen für Elektrofahrzeuge im Allgemeinen sowie die stoffliche Zusammensetzung von Technologievarianten im Speziellen dargestellt.
The use of lithium-ion batteries has grown since the market entry of portable power tools and consumer electronic devices. Soon, the need for lithium-ion batteries (LIB) will rise, when they are used in hybrid and full electric vehicles as well as in energy storage systems to enable the use of renewable energies. To prevent a future shortage of cobalt, nickel and lithium and to enable a sustainable life cycle of these technologies, new recycling processes for LIBs are needed. These new processes have to regain not only cobalt, nickel, copper and aluminum from spent battery cells, but also a significant share of lithium. Therefore, this article approaches unit operations and their combination to set up for efficient LIB recycling processes, especially considering the task to recover high rates of valuable materials with regard to involved safety issues. Further discussed unit operations are • Deactivation / Discharging of the battery • Disassembly of battery systems (specifically for EV-Battery Systems) • Mechanical Processes (including inert crushing, sorting and sieving processes and a special case: thermo-mechanical separation) • Hydro-metallurgical processes • Pyro-metallurgical processes Specific dangers are associated with LIB recycling processes: electrical dangers, chemical dangers, burning reactions, and potential interactions of the single dangers. Furthermore, industrial process chains, already in use, as well as research approaches are summarized. The processes of the companies Retriev Technologies, Recupyl, Batrec, Inmetco, Xstrata, Umicore, Accurec, AEA Technology, OnTo Technology, and Lion Engineering are discussed and illustrated briefly. A closer look is given to some results of the research project LithoRec.
Lithium-ion battery applications in consumer electronics and electric vehicles are rapidly growing, resulting in boosting resources demand, including cobalt and lithium. So recycling of batteries will be of necessity, not only to decline the consumption of energy, but also to relieve the shortage of rare resources and eliminate the pollution of hazardous components, towards sustainable industries related to consumer electronics and electric vehicles. This paper will review the current status of the recycling processes of spent lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), introduce the structure and components of the batteries, and summarize all available single contacts in batch mode operation, including pretreatment, secondary treatment, and deep recovery. Additionally, many problems and prospect of the current recycling processes will be presented and analyzed. It is hoped that this effort would stimulate further interest in spent LIBs recycling and in the appreciation of its benefits.
China is a major supplier of rechargeable lithium batteries for the world's consumer electronics (CE) and electric vehicles (EV). Consequently, China's domestic lithium resources are being rapidly depleted, and the development of the CE and EV industries will be vulnerable to the carrying capacity of China's lithium reserves. Here we find that lithium demand in China will increase significantly due to the continuing growth of demand for CE and the briskly emerging market for EV, resulting in a short carrying duration of lithium, even with full recycling of end-of-life lithium products. With these applications increasing at an annual rate of 7%, the carrying duration of lithium reserves will oblige the end-of-life products recycling with a 90% rate. To sustain the lithium industry, one approach would be to develop the collection system and recycling technology of lithium-containing waste for closed-loop lithium recycling, and other future endeavors should include developing the low-lithium battery and optimizing lithium industrial structure.
In cooperation with the industrial project partners ACCUREC Recycling and UVR-FIA a recycling process specially dedicated to portable Li-ion batteries was developed combining a mechanical pretreatment with hydro- and pyrometallurgical process steps. Therefore not only the recovery of cobalt but also the recovery of all other battery components, especially of lithium was of interest. Besides the characterization and evaluation of all generated metallic material fractions, the focus of the research work was the development of a pyrometallurgical process step in an electric arc furnace for the carbo-reductive melting of the fine fraction extracted from spent Li-ion batteries. This fine fraction mainly consists of the cobalt and lithium containing electrode material. Since a selective pyrometallurgical treatment of the fine fraction for producing a cobalt alloy has not been done before, the proof of feasibility was the main aim. "full paper existing"
A great effort to recycle batteries has been performed in the last two decades. During this period new directives have been published specially in Europe. The aim of this paper is to review the current status of technologies applied to recycle portable batteries, e.g. lead acid will not be described here. Essentially, this paper presents the current status of the technologies involved in the collection, sorting and processing of portable batteries.
The objective of this study is to describe the main battery-recycling processes currently used and those that are being developed. Technological options are presented for the recycling of lead acid, Zn–C, Zn–MnO2, nickel metal hydride, nickel–cadmium, lithium and lithium ion batteries.