The Potential of Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling for a Greener Tomorrow

Recycling symbol held by a handWith the rising adoption and recognition of electrical automobiles and shopper electronics, the demand for battery supplies corresponding to lithium can be rising, placing strain on already restricted sources within the atmosphere.

The manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries requires the extraction of finite sources corresponding to lithium, cobalt, and nickel, resulting in considerations about their availability sooner or later.

Furthermore, the disposal of used batteries poses a major environmental danger as a result of their poisonous parts.

To deal with these challenges, battery manufacturing corporations are actually recycling batteries and recovering potential metals from the black mass for producing first-hand reasonably priced batteries.

On this weblog, we’ll discover the significance of recycling lithium-ion batteries and the brand new know-how developed by Aqua Metals for extracting superior-quality lithium from the black mass of spent lithium-ion batteries.

Significance of Recycling Lithium-Ion Batteries

With the demand for lithium-ion batteries in electrical automobiles (EVs) and superior electronics, the quantity of waste can be rising, placing a burden on the planet.

In keeping with a report launched by the Worldwide Vitality Company (IEA) in September 2022, the variety of electrical automobiles on the highway is anticipated to succeed in 350 million by 2030. It will outcome within the creation of a large pile of spent lithium-ion batteries able to be disposed of.

Consequently, recycling batteries will help to recuperate worthwhile metals, corresponding to cobalt, aluminum, and lithium, from spent lithium-ion batteries.

These recovered metals can then be used within the manufacturing of latest batteries, decreasing the necessity for brand spanking new mining actions, conserving sources, and saving prices.

Costly metals and infrastructure necessities for battery manufacturing have additionally made recycling a extra engaging and financially viable choice.

This has enabled a number of multinational firms, corresponding to BASF SE, Umicore, and Aqua Metals, to put money into recycling know-how and infrastructure.

Moreover, authorities initiatives all all over the world have carried out recycling guidelines and grants, which help the recycling initiatives to enhance battery recycling effectivity and effectiveness.

As an illustration, the U.S. Division of Vitality (DoE) introduced the execution of a $335 million battery recycling scheme in 2022.

Furthermore, as a result of guidelines and grants by Chinese language governments, recycling corporations in China are extra inclined towards integrating battery assortment, black mass manufacture, black mass refining, and manufacturing of cathode energetic supplies (CAM).

Aqua Metals Launched Li AquaRefining to Recuperate Superior Lithium Hydroxide

Aqua Metals, a U.S.-based sustainable metallic recycling firm, is reworking the metals recycling business with its revolutionary AquaRefining know-how.

On 22nd February 2023, Aqua Metals introduced the profitable restoration of high-purity lithium hydroxide from lithium-ion battery black mass at its Li AquaRefining recycling facility located on the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Middle (TRIC).

Lithium hydroxide is a key part within the manufacturing of lithium-ion battery cathodes, that are important to electrical automobiles (EVs) and vitality storage purposes.

Furthermore, recovering lithium hydroxide from spent batteries is a vital step in making a closed-loop recycling course of for lithium-ion batteries, which can cut back the dependence on virgin supplies and enhance the sustainability of the EV and vitality storage industries.

The Li AquaRefining know-how permits the corporate to recycle spent batteries in a sustainable method instantly from the black mass utilizing its regenerative electro-hydrometallurgy course of, changing polluting furnaces and unsafe chemical compounds with electricity-powered electroplating.

As an alternative, the patented know-how makes use of electricity-powered electroplating to recuperate worthwhile metals and supplies with increased purity, decrease emissions, and minimal waste.

Furthermore, the rapid restoration of high-purity lithium hydroxide is particularly helpful for recycling superior battery chemistries corresponding to lithium iron phosphate (LFP), that are rising in popularity as a result of their security, comparatively low price, and extended usable capability.

As an illustration, main firms, corresponding to LG Chemical substances, ES Chemical substances, and SK Chemical substances, are set to incorporate LFP of their portfolios, whereas automotive large, Tesla, offered half of its automobiles with LFP batteries in 2022.

Within the phrases of Steve Cotton, the CEO and President of Aqua Metals, “Li AquaRefining know-how is exclusive as it may produce lithium hydroxide at scale with out requiring extra pricey and polluting refinement strategies.”

In keeping with Steve Cotton, the power to supply sustainably recycled lithium can have a profound influence on the lithium battery business in North America. It will possibly guarantee a sturdy provide of vital metals to fulfill the Inflation Discount Act.

The act is aimed toward decreasing dependence on overseas sources of vital supplies and strengthening the U.S. provide chain for superior battery applied sciences.

Moreover, this lithium hydroxide will be economically produced in response to the particular necessities of the producers.

Furthermore, Aqua Metals’ Li AquaRefining facility has been designed to extract lithium hydroxide and manganese dioxide, in addition to pure cobalt, nickel, and copper metals from spent lithium-ion batteries.

The corporate has deliberate the campus for phased growth and is anticipated to course of as much as 10,000 tons of lithium-ion batteries yearly.

Moreover, Aqua Metals’ success in reaching a negligible carbon footprint and considerably decreasing chemical waste streams in comparison with conventional hydro recycling processes is a recreation changer within the black mass recycling business.

This achievement not solely units a brand new commonplace for sustainable and environmentally-friendly recycling practices but in addition gives a major benefit for Aqua Metals by way of market competitiveness and profitability.

Furthermore, it has paved the best way for different black mass recycling firms to undertake related sustainable practices, ensuing within the development of the market as a complete.

In keeping with knowledge insights from BIS analysis, the worldwide black mass recycling market is projected to succeed in $52.99 billion by 2031 from $9.22 billion in 2022, rising at a CAGR of 21.45% in the course of the forecast interval 2022-2031.


Whereas the potential of lithium-ion battery recycling is critical, there are nonetheless challenges that have to be addressed, corresponding to the gathering and transportation of used batteries in addition to the complexity of pricy recycling processes.

Growing extra environment friendly and cost-effective recycling processes will probably be important for the widespread adoption of lithium-ion battery recycling that may assist to scale back the environmental influence of their manufacturing and disposal, preserve worthwhile sources, and cut back greenhouse fuel emissions.

Be taught Extra

Black Mass Recycling Market Research Report 2022-2031For extra data on this fast-growing market, please see Black Mass Recycling Market – A International and Regional Evaluation, 2022-2031, an in depth report filled with knowledge and insights overlaying market segmentation, current market developments, market demand, drivers and challenges, the aggressive panorama, and key gamers. This report attracts on intensive major and secondary analysis to assist business gamers design the correct enterprise methods for this aggressive, ever-shifting market.

Concerning the Writer: BIS Analysis is a worldwide market intelligence, analysis and advisory firm that focuses on rising know-how tendencies which can be more likely to disrupt the market. Its group consists of business veterans, consultants, and analysts with numerous backgrounds in consulting, funding banking, authorities, and academia.

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