The Potential of Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling for a Greener Tomorrow


Recycling symbol held by a handWith the rising adoption and recognition of electrical automobiles and shopper electronics, the demand for battery supplies akin to lithium can also be rising, placing stress on already restricted sources within the atmosphere.

The manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries requires the extraction of finite sources akin to lithium, cobalt, and nickel, resulting in issues about their availability sooner or later.

Furthermore, the disposal of used batteries poses a major environmental threat as a consequence of their poisonous elements.

To handle these challenges, battery manufacturing corporations are actually recycling batteries and recovering potential metals from the black mass for producing first-hand reasonably priced batteries.

On this weblog, we are going to discover the significance of recycling lithium-ion batteries and the brand new know-how developed by Aqua Metals for extracting superior-quality lithium from the black mass of spent lithium-ion batteries.

Significance of Recycling Lithium-Ion Batteries

With the demand for lithium-ion batteries in electrical automobiles (EVs) and superior electronics, the quantity of waste can also be rising, placing a burden on the planet.

In accordance with a report launched by the Worldwide Vitality Company (IEA) in September 2022, the variety of electrical automobiles on the highway is anticipated to achieve 350 million by 2030. This may outcome within the creation of a large pile of spent lithium-ion batteries able to be disposed of.

In consequence, recycling batteries can assist to get better useful metals, akin to cobalt, aluminum, and lithium, from spent lithium-ion batteries.

These recovered metals can then be used within the manufacturing of recent batteries, decreasing the necessity for brand new mining actions, conserving sources, and saving prices.

Costly metals and infrastructure necessities for battery manufacturing have additionally made recycling a extra enticing and financially viable choice.

This has enabled a number of multinational firms, akin to BASF SE, Umicore, and Aqua Metals, to spend money on recycling know-how and infrastructure.

Moreover, authorities initiatives all around the globe have applied recycling guidelines and grants, which help the recycling initiatives to enhance battery recycling effectivity and effectiveness.

As an example, the U.S. Division of Vitality (DoE) introduced the execution of a $335 million battery recycling scheme in 2022.

Furthermore, as a consequence of guidelines and grants by Chinese language governments, recycling corporations in China are extra inclined towards integrating battery assortment, black mass manufacture, black mass refining, and manufacturing of cathode energetic supplies (CAM).

Aqua Metals Launched Li AquaRefining to Get better Superior Lithium Hydroxide

Aqua Metals, a U.S.-based sustainable metallic recycling firm, is reworking the metals recycling business with its revolutionary AquaRefining know-how.

On 22nd February 2023, Aqua Metals introduced the profitable restoration of high-purity lithium hydroxide from lithium-ion battery black mass at its Li AquaRefining recycling facility located on the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Heart (TRIC).

Lithium hydroxide is a key element within the manufacturing of lithium-ion battery cathodes, that are important to electrical automobiles (EVs) and vitality storage purposes.

Furthermore, recovering lithium hydroxide from spent batteries is a vital step in making a closed-loop recycling course of for lithium-ion batteries, which is able to scale back the dependence on virgin supplies and enhance the sustainability of the EV and vitality storage industries.

The Li AquaRefining know-how allows the corporate to recycle spent batteries in a sustainable method immediately from the black mass utilizing its regenerative electro-hydrometallurgy course of, changing polluting furnaces and dangerous chemical substances with electricity-powered electroplating.

As an alternative, the patented know-how makes use of electricity-powered electroplating to get better useful metals and supplies with larger purity, decrease emissions, and minimal waste.

Furthermore, the quick restoration of high-purity lithium hydroxide is particularly helpful for recycling superior battery chemistries akin to lithium iron phosphate (LFP), that are rising in popularity as a consequence of their security, comparatively low price, and extended usable capability.

As an example, main firms, akin to LG Chemical substances, ES Chemical substances, and SK Chemical substances, are set to incorporate LFP of their portfolios, whereas automotive large, Tesla, offered half of its automobiles with LFP batteries in 2022.

Within the phrases of Steve Cotton, the CEO and President of Aqua Metals, “Li AquaRefining know-how is exclusive as it might produce lithium hydroxide at scale with out requiring further pricey and polluting refinement strategies.”

In accordance with Steve Cotton, the flexibility to provide sustainably recycled lithium can have a profound influence on the lithium battery business in North America. It will possibly guarantee a strong provide of vital metals to fulfill the Inflation Discount Act.

The act is aimed toward decreasing dependence on overseas sources of vital supplies and strengthening the U.S. provide chain for superior battery applied sciences.

Moreover, this lithium hydroxide might be economically produced in accordance with the precise necessities of the producers.

Furthermore, Aqua Metals’ Li AquaRefining facility has been designed to extract lithium hydroxide and manganese dioxide, in addition to pure cobalt, nickel, and copper metals from spent lithium-ion batteries.

The corporate has deliberate the campus for phased growth and is anticipated to course of as much as 10,000 tons of lithium-ion batteries yearly.

Moreover, Aqua Metals’ success in attaining a negligible carbon footprint and considerably decreasing chemical waste streams in comparison with conventional hydro recycling processes is a sport changer within the black mass recycling business.

This achievement not solely units a brand new normal for sustainable and environmentally-friendly recycling practices but in addition gives a major benefit for Aqua Metals when it comes to market competitiveness and profitability.

Furthermore, it has paved the way in which for different black mass recycling firms to undertake related sustainable practices, ensuing within the progress of the market as an entire.

In accordance with information insights from BIS analysis, the worldwide black mass recycling market is projected to achieve $52.99 billion by 2031 from $9.22 billion in 2022, rising at a CAGR of 21.45% in the course of the forecast interval 2022-2031.


Whereas the potential of lithium-ion battery recycling is critical, there are nonetheless challenges that must be addressed, akin to the gathering and transportation of used batteries in addition to the complexity of pricey recycling processes.

Growing extra environment friendly and cost-effective recycling processes shall be important for the widespread adoption of lithium-ion battery recycling that may assist to cut back the environmental influence of their manufacturing and disposal, preserve useful sources, and scale back greenhouse fuel emissions.

Study Extra

Black Mass Recycling Market Research Report 2022-2031For extra data on this fast-growing market, please see Black Mass Recycling Market – A International and Regional Evaluation, 2022-2031, an in depth report filled with information and insights overlaying market segmentation, latest market developments, market demand, drivers and challenges, the aggressive panorama, and key gamers. This report attracts on intensive major and secondary analysis to assist business gamers design the fitting enterprise methods for this aggressive, ever-shifting market.

Concerning the Writer: BIS Analysis is a worldwide market intelligence, analysis and advisory firm that focuses on rising know-how traits which might be prone to disrupt the market. Its workforce consists of business veterans, specialists, and analysts with various backgrounds in consulting, funding banking, authorities, and academia.


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