What is the prospect of lithium battery recycling
All over the world, new energy electric vehicles are ushering in rapid growth, and the first batch of power batteries has begun to enter the retirement period. Public data shows that the cumulative decommissioning of power batteries in China in 2020 is about 200,000 tons, which will give birth to a huge recycling market.
However, battery recycling faces huge difficulties. Because different battery recycling methods are different, a large number of retired lithium-ion batteries will face difficulties in recycling. This is because the electrolyte contains toxic substances such as lithium hexafluorophosphate. If not recycled correctly, these scrapped batteries will pollute the environment. In the recycling process, incorrect operation methods can also cause explosions, electric shocks and other accidents.
It is worth mentioning that the early electric vehicles were dominated by lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4)batteries, so most of the retired lithium iron phosphate(LiFePO4) batteries are now. However, after 2022, ternary lithium batteries have begun to be retired.
There are three main difficulties in battery recycling:
1. Estimation of battery residual value
There are many ways to define the health of power battery SOH. Common definitions are based on: capacity attenuation, remaining discharge, remaining cycles, and internal resistance. Define SOH according to capacity: Lithium battery capacity will gradually decrease during charging and discharging. When the capacity is reduced to 80%, it can be retired.
2. Metal price fluctuations
The price of metal determines the profit and loss of battery recycling manufacturers. The price of metal is also affected by the comprehensive factors of resource supply, technological progress, and downstream markets. There are technology cycles and production cycles. Metal price is a decisive factor in the profit and loss of battery recycling manufacturers, and it affects power batteries. The operating model has also increased the difficulty of policy formulation.
3. Technical Standards for Echelon Utilization
Echelon utilization is an important recycling method for lithium iron phosphate batteries(LiFePO4). For example, retired lithium iron phosphate batteries (LiFePO4)are used as energy storage power stations. It not only reduces environmental pollution but also improves economic benefits. However, factors such as echelon utilization methods and safety are bothering the formulation of standards. Excessive standards will lead to reduced economic efficiency and cause shrinkage of the echelon utilization market. Too low standards are not conducive to the long-term development of the echelon utilization market.