BOSTON, June 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Li-ion batteries dominate the electric vehicles (EV), consumer electronics and stationary energy storage markets. However, the sustainability of these batteries through their entire lifecycle must be managed, including at End-of-Life (EOL). IDTechEx’s new report, “Li-ion Battery Recycling Market 2023-2043”, finds that an estimated 23.8 million tonnes of lithium-ion batteries will be recycled in 2043. Several factors will drive recycling market growth, helping to maximize utilization of increasing feedstock availability.
Minimize Supply Chain Risk
Fears over supply bottlenecks to lithium, nickel, and cobalt in the medium term provides an opportunity for recycling. Recycling Li-ion batteries allows such valuable raw materials to be obtained and re-introduced into new battery manufacturing. This can help to provide a more secure, diversified, and local supply of raw materials. This also starts to reduce reliance on mining for virgin materials, bringing environmental benefits. Key regions such as the US and Europe are looking to expand their recycling capacities to aid in domesticating critical material supply. However, these regions are mostly focused on producing black mass from mechanical recycling techniques. This requires further refining into metal salts, which can then be further processed into new cathode precursor material. Very few companies in these regions (e.g., Fortum in Europe) have currently established commercial-scale hydrometallurgical recycling plants to produce metal salts. Therefore, a substantial domestic supply of usable intermediary products to be used in new battery manufacturing in these regions is still some years away.
While China has some of the most extensive policies regarding battery end-of-life management, other regions, such as the EU and India, have introduced policies that will drive battery recycling. The EU Battery Regulation, soon coming into force, specifies collection rate targets…