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Lithium-ion Batteries: Battery Chemistries and Recycling Benefits

Electric vehicles (EVs) are transforming the transportation sector. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, these vehicles are replacing gas and diesel-driven vehicles in many countries. Lithium-ion vehicle batteries have gained popularity for various reasons, including high power-to-weight ratio, high-temperature performance, low self-discharge, and high battery life. These batteries offer many benefits over lead-acid batteries and nickel-metal hydride batteries.

These batteries are made from components such as lithium manganese and lithium cobalt oxide, graphite, polypropylene films, etc. Cobalt is one of the most expensive materials used in these batteries today. Cobalt is mainly mined from underdeveloped countries which are presently facing challenges such as civil wars. This has led to constant price fluctuations over the years. As a result, there has been ongoing research and development worldwide to minimize the production costs of these batteries and optimize their efficiency. This post offers insights into these innovative lithium-ion battery chemistries and educates you on the importance of recycling lithium-ion batteries used in EVs.

 Innovative Lithium-ion Battery Chemistries You Must Know About

Sustainability has become an essential requirement for customers, regulators, and investors worldwide. As a result, automakers are keen to invest in next-generation chemistries that improve sustainability and optimize fuel economies. The following are some innovative lithium-ion battery chemistries that have triggered the interests of automakers.

  • Cobalt-free Lithium-ion Batteries: A team of researchers at the University of Texas has designed a battery that uses nickel and manganese in its electrode in place of cobalt. Aluminum is another element used in these batteries. The researchers are hopeful that this chemistry will help them achieve even distribution of ions and ensure improved battery life. SVOLT has introduced cobalt-free batteries for EV vehicles. The company claims that cobalt-free lithium-ion batteries will help them achieve high energy density.
  • Silicon Anode Lithium-ion Batteries: Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland have developed a hybrid anode that uses carbon nanotubes and silicon microparticles that serves as a graphite replacement in the regular lithium-ion battery. The anode helps improve the battery performance. Another highlight of this chemistry is that silicon is produced from a natural material – barley husk ash.
  • Lithium-Sulfur Batteries: These batteries are proven to outperform lithium-ion batteries in many scenarios. Lithium-sulfur batteries feature sulfur instead of cobalt, which assure high energy density and low cost. The researchers from Monash University own a patent for this battery and have attracted OEMs worldwide. This technology is known to lower manufacturing costs as well as minimize environmental impact.

All the above discussed lithium battery chemistries hold promises for the future; however, recycling them is equally important. According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), electric vehicles are newer to the US market, and a small percentage of them is approaching the end of their service life. Thus, the market for battery recycling of EVs is currently limited. Once these vehicles become affordable, battery recycling will become more popular. Does that mean current vehicle owners have no choice if they wish to recycle their EV batteries? If yes, what are the options available? What are the benefits of battery recycling? Read the next section to know these answers and more.

Benefits of Recycling Lithium-ion Batteries Used in EVs

Lithium-ion batteries aren’t just for EVs, but can be found in several electronic devices, including smart wearable devices to smartphones to smart home devices. Unfortunately, the batteries in these devices are usually disposed of without thought at the end of their useful lives. Batteries in these devices may contain hazardous materials and if not disposed of properly may have a severe environmental impact. Lithium-based batteries used in EVs use a range of different chemistries. According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the following are a few important benefits of recycling lithium-ion batteries used in electronic devices and cars.

  • Recycling reduces the waste sent to landfills.
  • Lithium-ion batteries used in EVs comprise heavy metals which may react with rainwater to form leachate that can contaminate groundwater supply. Recycling helps prevent potentially harmful metals from infiltrating the social and water since they are not
  • Recycling will help automakers reduce the production costs of their vehicles because many materials used in these batteries are reusable. This helps reduce the costs of mining virgin materials.

Battery recycling benefits everyone right from the user to the manufacturer and all the entities involved. Separating critical metals from EV batteries requires careful intervention. It is important to partner with an experienced battery recycling services provider for EV batteries like Battery Solutions. The company has decades of experience in handling various types of lithium battery chemistries. They offer battery recycling products that enable users to dispose of their used lithium batteries safely and effectively. These recycling containers are offered in various sizes with all the necessary elements needed to fit the DOT guidelines for packaging, handling, and transporting your batteries to the recycling center. In addition to this, teams provide onsite assistance for battery disassembly, evaluation and packaging, and damaged battery management. The company follows the highest safety industry standards and the best practices for safe damaged battery packaging and transport. Get in touch with their experts today to discuss your battery disposal requirements.   

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