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The ever-increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries touched new heights in the recent decade due to the revolution in the energy storage system, higher consumers of portable electronic equipment’s and electric vehicles (EV). Lithium-ion batteries are versatile in high energy density and low weight to volume ratio. The use of LIB expected to increase in the near future and recycling must be done to avoid environmental pollution. LIB contains highly inflammable and heavy metals (such as lead, manganese, nickel, and cobalt) and disposing it in open ground or landfill will contaminate soil or groundwater. Therefore, it is necessary to set up a proper disposal system to mitigate its hazardous effects on the environment as well as human beings. “Battery Directive” an amendment issued by the European Parliament to minimize the negative impact of batteries, thus contributing to the protection, preservation, and the improvement of the quality of the environment. Recycling can help each nation to have its own supply without having to rely on other nations. Thus recycling proves to be the best option to recover valuables from LIB which increases the economic development of a country along with opening doors for a new business opportunity.
The lithium-ion battery recycling segmented on the basis of battery type. Lithium cobalt oxide is widely used in electronic equipment such as smartphones, laptops, and UPS. Automobile and marine hybrid propulsion industry use lithium titanate and lithium nickel cobalt oxide batteries. Recycling process mainly includes Hydrometallurgy and Combine Hydrometallurgy and Pyrometallurgy for extracting and treating metals. Valuable metals such as lead, lithium, cobalt, aluminium, nickel etc. can be extracted by hydrometallurgy with high metal purity.
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Millions of LIB are beings used across a wide area and there is enormous potential growth for recycling of lithium-ion batteries. Ongoing research and development in LIB have made to broaden its applications, which mainly include an electric vehicle, electronic equipment and energy storage system. Aging factor causes degradation of LIB along with high-temperature susceptibility which reduces its life thus generating tons of waste. Therefore, LIB recycling will see extensive growth in the forthcoming years.
Recycling of LIB requires a highly proven scientific method to extract valuable metals otherwise batteries can explode when damaged or exposed to a high temperature which inhibits its growth. Handling requires careful attention due to its toxicity and flammability. The restriction imposed for bulk transportation of LIB may slow down its recycling market.
The notable players in the lithium-ion battery recycling are Umicore, Glencore, Retrieve Technologies, Raw Material Company Inc., Li-Cycle™, Recupyl SAS, Nippon Recycle Center Corporation, Global Battery Solution, Redux Smart Battery Recycling, SAR Recycle, Australian Battery Recycling Initiative, The International Metals Reclamation Company, Battery Recycling Made Easy, American Manganese Inc., etc.
· Lithium Cobalt Oxide
· Lithium Manganese Oxide
· Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide
· Lithium Iron Phosphate
· Lithium Titanate
· Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide
· Combined Pyrometallurgical and Hydrometallurgical Process
· North America (USA and Canada)
· Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia and Rest of Europe)
· Asia Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia and Rest of Asia Pacific)
· Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and Rest of Latin America)
· Middle East & Africa (South Africa, GCC and Rest of Middle East & Africa)
The lithium-ion battery recycling market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The adoption of LIB in North America is quite high due to pilot projects rolled out in the field of an electric vehicle. Also, the demand for LIB has increased due to the presence of huge data centres, tech giants, telecommunication companies and technological revolution. All these sectors generate a lot of waste which needs to be treated for a sustainable environment which stimulates the growth opportunities for LIB in North America. Europe is too cautious for its environment norms and is also one of the top consumers of LIB due to its use in the public transportation vehicle. Battery Directive implemented by European Parliamentary aims to minimize hazardous effects by effective and proper recycling method which definitely encourage investment in the LIB recycling companies. Asia Pacific is the biggest market for LIB recycling due to the largest consumer of electronics and ongoing e-mobility promotion. India and China contribute a major portion in the electronic equipment consumption which is highly dominated by lithium-ion batteries. Thousands of tons of Li-ion batteries are consumed in these countries and there is enormous scope for the development of the recycling market for lithium-ion batteries.
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