Recycling lithium batteries should be done properly

Lithium batteries should be recycled because they are not healthy for greener planet. It has materials that can toxic the atmosphere and act as chemical waste. From the minimum encumbrance to lightness, to the possibility of charging without memory accumulation, there are many advantages of these accumulators. Their weak point, however, exceeds everything and lies in the high flammability of the base element. It goes without saying that if used improperly or damaged they are very dangerous. With Kinsbursky brothers, an innovative process is being tested for the treatment and recovery of exhausted batteries. The goal is to recycle all metals, from lithium to cobalt, reducing costs and reducing environmental impact compared to current techniques.

Treat exhausted lithium batteries carefully

To reuse the batteries at the end of their life, it is necessary to diagnose the cells that have a sufficient residual charge capacity, and then assemble them in stationary energy storage systems, for example to store wind or solar energy.This process is generally limited to automotive batteries because they are the only ones with characteristics that can be used in energy storage. In the end, though, there will always be some depleted devices to dispose of.

Recover the largest possible quantity of metals, both passive ones such as aluminum with copper and active ones that make energy storage possible and then lithium, cobalt, manganese, nickel. Cobalt is the most important, because it represents 30-40% of the weight of a single battery.In addition to the recovery of lithium which has little effect on the total cost of the devices, recycling cobalt is not readily available in nature and very expensive.

The global annual production of lithium is compared to about 18 million tons of proven reserves available worldwide. At the current rate of demand, you would not have supply problems for a few centuries but the picture could change rapidly if the electric car spreads exponentially. You must think that a small 20 kW battery contains about 3 kg of lithium and the proportion is in fact 0.18 kg of lithium per kW. With millions more batteries on the market every year, lithium could end within a few decades.

Conclusion: The second life

So in which direction are you working to give a second life to the batteries? With the Cobalt you have been seen for more than a year on an innovative recycling process. This is a very important aspect to proceed with the selective recovery and recycling of the various elements. The methods used in industrial recovery plants provide for the residual discharge of exhausted batteries by immersion in salt solutions, with the release of gaseous mixtures such as hydrogen and chlorine. Chlorine is highly toxic, while hydrogen is very flammable.


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