Robots join the battery and recycle the army, more safer than artificial disassembly

2022/04/08

  Author :Iflowpower – Portable Power Station Supplier

Researchers in the US Energy Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a robot disassembly system for waste electric vehicle battery packs, recovered and renewed and reused key materials, while reducing toxic waste. As the electric car grows in the next 20 years, how to recover the problem of large lithium-ion battery packs that provide power to it,. ORNL engineers have made a demonstration that robots can accelerate disassembly, so that workers do this process, and greatly improve production.

Timmcintyre, chief researcher in ORNL electrification and energy infrastructure, said only a small part of the lithium-ion car battery is recycled, and most of the processes used for recycling are not automated. Regardless of the recycler just want to pass through the outer casing to contact the battery and replace the wear parts, it is completely recycled battery heap to recover cobalt, lithium, metal foil and other materials, the first step is battery diagnosis, in order to safely and efficiently handle and disassemble. McINTyre said: "With our system, when the robot picks up the battery pack and put it on the production line, it marks the last time of the human being in contact with it until it turns into pieces and parts.

"Limiting human interaction is important for security and efficiency. The robot can quickly remove bolts and other housings, and human operators must carry out strict, long processes, discharge waste batteries before manual dismantling. Automatic disassembly reduces the contact of humans to the toxic chemicals in the battery, as well as high-power levels close to 900 volts in some newer vehicles.

As part of the Institute of Energy Key Materials (CMI), the automation system can be easily reconfigured as any type of battery stack. It can be programmed to only access a separate battery module for refurbishment or as a fixed energy storage reuse, or the battery can be disassembled until the battery level for separation and material recovery. This work is based on the professional knowledge of the projects carried out by ORNL, and these projects are focused on recovering rare earth magnets through robots.

Engineers also prove that these magnets can be reused directly in the motor. Automatic disassembly of components containing key materials not only eliminates labor-intensive manual disassembly, but also provides an effective process, separating components into higher value streams, where key materials are concentrated in separate raw materials for recovery treatment, This added value is an important part of establishing an economical viable process. Jonathanharter, member of the ORNL project group, said that researchers follow the same protocol: manually decompose the used components, and collect data for the process to create driver automation systems needed for robotics and control.

The industrial community is not limited to the number of batteries they can bring into this process, and there have been a large amount of backlog, and the restriction factor is the time required to discharge and manually disassemble. Harter estimates that in some processes, the time required for hand-to-disassemble 12 battery stacks, the automation system can process 100 or more. The next step may be to expand this process to a commercial scale.

The McINTyre team also saw opportunities to apply similar disassemblies in electric vehicle transmission systems to recover rare earth magnets, copper, steel and complete power electronic equipment. Hart said, in order to make recycling in economical more feasible, it must be carried out under high throughput, and it is flexible enough to handle multiple consumer goods in a facility. He said: "If the electric car market is expected to develop in the next 10 to 20 years, we will need to solve the problem of waste logistics, and treat these waste vehicles and batteries as the core of manufacturing materials supply chain.

"The system is developed and demonstrated in ORNL's grid research integration and deployment center. This work is based on the professional knowledge developed by ORNL, which focuses on robots to remove the hard drive to recover rare earth magnets. Engineers also prove that these magnets can be reused directly in the motor.

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