Author ：Iflowpower – Portable Power Station Supplier
The world is now more than 500,000 tons per year, most of which derived from small electronic products. However, with the world to the electric economy, it is expected that by 2030, the demand for lithium-ion batteries will increase by 10 times, most of which are used for electric vehicles, and the number of abandoned batteries will also increase. Many industry insiders believe that abandoned lithium-ion batteries are both a major environmental issue to be solved, and represent new opportunities, can replace the current fragile and controversial supply chain with "Circular System", this new system is manufactured with recyclable materials New battery.
It is estimated that by 2030, the market that only recovered the lithium-ion battery may create a value of $ 18 billion (about RMB 117.8 billion) every year, far higher than $ 1.5 billion in 2019.
Because this market is very bright, including Amazon, Panasonic and many start-ups, lithium electronic battery recycling business is targeted. The startup of the US market is Redwoodmaterials, which is the latest joint venture company of Tesla Belle JB Strabel (JBstraubel). Since 2017, the company has established two plants, currently dealing with all discard and defective batteries from Panasonic and Tesla Factory.
Redwoodmaterials recently worked with Amazon to handle batteries from this retail giant. In the end, RedwoodMaterials can reclaim 95% to 98% of nickel, cobalt, aluminum, graphite and more than 80% of lithium in the battery. Most of these materials are sold back to Panasonic to make new Tesla batteries.
Joint Founder and Executive President Tim Johnston created Li-cycle in a similar manner, the company's business structure is important to establish a "center and spoke" mode. Li-cycle intends to collect the battery in the local "spoke" facility, divided into three parts: plastic housing, mixed metal (such as foil) and battery core active materials. Li-cycle can be sold directly, or they transport to a "hub" plant, and soak it in the liquid at room temperature to extract 90% to 95% of metal.
Li-cycle currently has two "spoke" facilities running, located in Ontario, Ontario, Canada and Rochester, New York, USA, a total of 10,000 tons of lithium-ion batteries per year. As with RedwoodMaterials, the company hopes to expand as soon as possible, and has raised about 50 million US dollars. But the future, the researchers pointed out that the long-term profit margin of the recovery of the battery at an atomic decomposition mode may become extremely thin.
After all, the chemical structure of the battery is changing every year, such as Panasonic's Cobalt content in Tesla Battery sharply 60% in 2012 to 2018. These changes may constantly adjust the recycling process while also reduces profits. More effective methods may be to recover batteries at a higher level, use their larger molecular structure, not atoms.
Chemist, battery research company ontechnology founder Steve Slop (Steveesloop) compares the battery as a apartment building. Remove the wood and bricks with it, why not refurbish? Slop hopes to soak the active substance in the battery in a lithium-rich cylinder, so that they return to the original state. In addition to technology, the expansion scale will be an important challenge for all recycling initiatives.
In the laboratory, the battery is relatively easy to change the battery. But how to collect, transport, classify, disassemble, processing, and redistribution, millions of tons of materials is not so. .
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