A Brief Review on the Recycling of Decommissioned Power Battery Resources from EVs
Jie Tian1, Yan Li1, Yuming Zhao1, Jinwen Ai1, Shouding Li2 and Qi Cheng2*
1Shenzhen Power Supply Col Ltd, China
2State Key Laboratory of Advanced Electromagnetic Engineering and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China
Submission: March 09, 2020; Published: March 17, 2020
*Corresponding author: Qi Cheng, State Key Laboratory of Advanced Electromagnetic Engineering and Technology, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan,430074, P. R. China
How to cite this article: Qi Cheng, Jie Tian, Yan Li, Yuming Zhao, Jinwen Ai, Shouding Li. A Brief Review on the Recycling of Decommissioned Power Battery Resources from EVs. Int J Environ Sci Nat Res. 2020; 23(5): 556125. DOI: 10.19080/IJESNR.2020.23.556125
With the development of electric vehicles, the industry of lithium ion battery has greatly promoted. It is predicted that the market of global lithium ion battery is expected to reach $99.98 billion by 2025, with its absolute dominance in consumer electronics and electric vehicles. The rapid and massive introduction of lithium ion battery in vehicles will produce a large number of spent batteries in 10 years. It is important to recycle spent lithium ion batteries for sustainable production. This paper summarizes the latest development of pyrometallurgical process, hydrometallurgical process and direct recycling process in industry. Currently, none of the technological process are ideal, and there are many challenges should be solved. This paper gives some suggestions for the challenges of recycling of batteries, hoping the efforts of academia, industry and government, the industry of recycling spent lithium ion battery can be further improved.
Keywords: Spent lithium ion battery; Pyrometallurgical process; Hydrometallurgical process; Regenerate
Vehicle power battery requires frequent charging and discharging, which greatly affects the capacity of the battery. However, the capacity decreases below 80% of the initial capacity needs to be replaced. The life of lithium ion batteries in electric car is 3-6 years. The rapid development of new energy vehicles will produce a large number of spent lithium ion batteries. China’s new energy vehicles entered the explosive growth stage in 2014.
China will produce about 800,000 tons of spent lithium-ion
batteries (134.39GWh) by 2025. Even more, the flammable and
toxic waste generated from the disposal of spent batteries can
cause severe environmental pollution if not carefully treated.
Therefore, it is urgent to develop technologies to recycle and
reuse LIBs for the benefit of both recapturing valuable materials
and mitigating environmental pollution . Governments and
researchers all over the world are looking for an effective solution
to the utilization of spent batteries. The energy department of
USA has announced laboratory battery recovery and development
center. China, Germany, Japan and other major electric vehicle
countries have also formulated guidelines on power battery
recycling (Figure 1). Thus, it is quite necessary for us to pay close
attention to the recycling of the spent Li-ion batteries .
Since cathode materials account for about 40% of the material
value in typical LIBs, recycling the cathode materials is especially
important for optimal economics. Novel approaches are the
subject of extensive development in industry and academia. There
are three different battery recycling technologies are shown in
a) hydrometallurgical processes,
b) pyrometallurgical processes,
c) direct recycling processes. Hydrometallurgical
processes and pyrometallurgical processes are starting
to operate at industrial scales, and the third is presently
at the lab and pilot scale (Figure 2).
At present, Hydrometallurgical processes consist of several chemical procedures, leaching, chemical precipitation, extraction, et al. metal values can be leached with high leaching rate. Typically, nickel, manganese and cobalt can be recovered. Some recycling processes (such as extraction process, chemical precipitation process, electrolysis process and co-precipitation process) have been developed to recycle valuable materials in the form of Li2CO3, LiOH, NiSO4, CoSO4, CoCl2, CoC2O4, NixCoyMn1-x-y(OH)2 and NixCoyAl1-x-y(OH)2 from spent Li-ion batteries. Finally, for the treatment of the leachant, the solvent extraction is always adopted to obtain the Co, Li, Cu, and Al raw materials, which are further applied for fabrication of the renovated cathodes. Inorganic acids are used in this process, such as HCl, H2SO4, HNO3, but the widely used of acids would cause secondary pollution, which will bring acid solution streams, resulting in wastewater pollution .
Pyrometallurgical processes are common in industry.
However, it requires extreme temperatures (above 1400°C),
high energy consumption, high costs, and the release of harmful
fumes, requiring stringent safety and environmental precautions.
Furthermore, this method alone cannot completely recycle all
Direct recycling processes has also been used in which
cathode harvested from spent LIBs is sintered with a predetermined
amount of Li salt. The synthesis approach is relatively
easy; however, the Li/TM (transition metal) ratio must be
accurately measured before the dosage of Li2CO3 is investigated.
The limitation of this approach is that the regeneration conditions
are different from each individual battery because the Li/TM ratio
changes with the cycling performance .
Yang Shi demonstrates a simple yet efficient approach
combines hydrothermal. Treatment and short annealing to
regenerate degraded NCM cathode particles (Figure 3). Finally,
nearly ideal stoichiometry, low cation mixing, and high phase
purity were achieved in the regenerated NCM particles, which displays high specific capacity stable cycling stability, and high rate
capability. The process with obvious advantages over traditional
hydrometallurgical methods and builds an important foundation
for the sustainable manufacturing of energy materials [6,7].
Cao Yuan-Cheng successfully offer an innovative method to regenerate degraded LiNi0.5Co0.2Mn0.3O2 cathode particles to obtain new active particles. The results show that the regeneration materials display the discharge capacities of 162.0mAh/g at 0.1C. 128.6mAh/g can be obtained at 1C after 100 cycles with capacity retention of 91.9%, which is comparable with commercial cathodes .
Pulickel m. Ajayan and the Ganguli Babu team at Rice university
in the United States exhibit a method to recycle LIBs using deep
eutectic solvents to extract transition metals, including lithium
cobalt, oxide and lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide. For the
metal extraction from lithium cobalt oxide, leaching efficiencies of
≥90% were obtained for both cobalt and lithium (Figure 4). Deep
eutectic solvents could provide a green alternative compare with
conventional methods of LIB recycling, which remains crucial to
meet the demand of the exponentially increasing LIB production
Need for development of efficient and suitable technology
for valuable metal recovery from spent lithium ion batteries is important. The urgency for the alternative recycling technologies/
processes to recover the lithium in particular from LIB also needs
an attention to avert the projected crisis in the near future.
Direct recycling processes through recycling from LIB can be an
alternative feasible option to meet future demand, sustainability
of energy, environment, and circular economy.