The demand for lithium ion batteries is growing a lot. The increase in the use of electric vehicles contributes to this. This boom in demand brings with it several problems. One of them is that it increases the potential risk of contaminating the environment with hazardous waste from these bats, since after many attacks and missions they lose their effectiveness and have to be discarded.
Another problem is that the supply of lithium and other chemical elements from natural deposits could decrease in the future, or not be sufficient for the large increase in demand in a short time.
Another potential problem is that natural deposits of lithium and other chemical elements, which are vital to batteries of this class, are subject to strong geographical attention.
All these risks arise in the near future, large shortages of these chemical elements in the market, and the associated increase in the price of lithium-ion batteries.
Good recycling of lithium and other chemical elements of batteries would allow these problems to be avoided or mitigated.
Currently, less than 5 percent of spent lithium-ion batteries worldwide are recycled, and the pool of these spent batteries is projected to reach 11 million tons by 2030.
However, existing methods for battery recycling are far from perfect.
Dalton Tay’s team at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore designed and perfected a technology for recycling lithium-ion batteries.
The new technology allows low-cost extraction of precious metals that are powered by lithium-ion batteries. (Photo: NTU Singapore)
A new method using the fruit skin is removed to obtain the essential bearing. There is respect for the environment. It can be adapted and used on an industrial scale.
After the remarkably successful pilot tests, Nanyang Technological University entered into a collaboration with Secure Waste Pte Ltd (SWM), a Singapore-based battery processing and recycling company, to test the technology on a large scale in a pilot plant.
The battery recycling pilot plant has the capacity to process up to 2,000 liters of crushed batteries mixed with solvents from the fruit skins to extract the materials used in the electrodes, such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese.
The main feature of the pilot plant is its modular design, which is easily configured to obtain the best reaction conditions for extracting different types of metals.
The pilot plant has already begun to operate.
This year, the NTU and SWM team will work to optimize the process in order to maximize the results of the extraction of the most valuable metal from battery waste, aimed at the reuse of said metals.
Team members will also evaluate the technical operation and financial viability of the plant with the goal of identifying improvements needed to bring the technology to market. (Source: NCYT from Amazing)