Recycling opportunities for hybrid/electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries

  • Magazine Feature Article
  • 15MEIP09_02
Published September 01, 2015 by SAE International in United States
  • English

With limited reserves and strict environmental regulations, recyclers look to established extraction means to reuse, recycle, and dispose of the used batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries are the preferred energy storage systems for electric vehicles due to their inherent advantages in energy and their power density characteristics. As more lithium batteries are generated, the topic of reuse, recycling, and disposal is critical to comply with the disposal norms of waste batteries. As lithium reserves are also limited, proper recycling methods would be of use to extract the same energy out of used batteries.

Extractive metallurgy offers an excellent path for selective extraction and refining of a variety of metals from various sources, including naturally occurring ores, minerals, man-made products, etc. In a broader sense, it allows recyclers to selectively separate and refine the metals from various sources irrespective of their nature. However, the extraction process may vary with respect to the nature of metal source and aim of separation.