EV Battery Recycling: A Critical Component Of The Green Revolution But One That Continues To Present Major Hurdles

EV Battery Recycling: A Critical Component Of The Green Revolution But One That Continues To Present Major Hurdles

As the electric vehicle (EV) market takes off in the U.S., China and around the globe, environmentalists have cause for celebration. EVs are becoming mainstream and very soon a sizable portion of all vehicles on the road will be all-electric. 

Major manufacturers like General Motors Co. GM are joining the ranks of EV pioneers like Tesla Inc. TSLA and Rivian Automotive Inc. RIVN, with a major push toward EVs in the near future.  Ford Motor Co. F plans to manufacture 2 million EVs per year by 2026.

This will drastically decrease the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted and hopefully, slow the tide of climate change. However, it's not all roses.

EV batteries, especially their recyclability, pose a threat to the green gains hard won by eliminating combustion engine exhaust.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 140 million EVs will be on the road globally by 2030. In the same year, 11 million metric tons of lithium-ion batteries will reach the end of their lives. Efficiently and effectively recycling these batteries is imperative and at this point, the global recycling capacity is severely lacking.

The elements found in these batteries — like lithium, nickel, manganese, and cobalt — are expensive to mine from the ground. The process of extracting these metals from the earth will lead to further harm to the environment, to say nothing of the human rights abuses endemic to much of the mining industry in certain areas where these metals are found.

To maximize the life of each ounce of metal mined and minimize the amount that is mined, an effective recycling industry must be created. But several barriers to this exist. 

Batteries up to this point have largely been engineered to maximize things like charge and efficiency. Recyclability has largely been ignored. This means that creating an efficient process is extremely difficult. Most of the processes that currently exist are extremely energy intensive, and they do not recover a sufficient amount of raw materials.

Moreover, large-scale recycling plants are expensive to build. Most of the work done thus far to address the problem has come from academia. This research is important, but recycling must become commercially viable to scale to meet the truly global issue.

A Pioneer In The Space?

In light of the above issues, RecycLiCo Battery Materials Inc. AMYZF could potentially be a true pioneer. The company has developed a process that addresses these issues. Its proprietary process recovers up to 100% of the key battery metals, from waste lithium-ion battery materials,and does so efficiently.  

The company has another critical edge. RecycLiCo works within an “integrated” system. In addition to recycling, the company upcycles the waste into battery-ready materialsto be sent back for battery re-manufacturing. Therefore, creating a closed-loop supply of battery materials. 

This is in direct contrast to other recyclers that build stand-alone recycling plants. They may fall victim to shortages of battery waste needed to recycle.

And now, the company says it has closed the loop in the battery recycling process, successfully demonstrating the efficiency and quality of its process. It had it’s upcycled product assembled into new battery cells and validated by the third-party company, C4V.

This is an important step and one that proves this company may be able to help the green dream of EVs stay green.

If you are interested in learning more, check out https://americanmanganeseinc.com/.

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Featured photo by Mark Chan on Unsplash

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