How does Li-ion battery recycling take place?

XTAR Light

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As we know, the Li-ion batteries contain cobalt, iron, lithium, copper, aluminum, and these materials have a high recycling value. After dropping off the old 18650 Li-ion batteries to recycling centers, then what happens? There is more info about the battery recycling processes.

Firstly, the old Li-on batteries are collected and sorted thoroughly. Afterwards, the batteries go through a series of processes to separate the raw materials. The Li-ion battery may have some residual charge inside when it's recycled, and they will be pre-treated to fully deplete its charge before recycling. There are two main treatment methods, immersion method and resistance method to release their charge.

The secondary treatment is to separate the anode and cathode active materials from the substrate, generally using heat treatment, electrolysis and organic solvent dissolution method, and the heat treatment method is relatively simple, convenient operation is widely used. The battery is placed at a certain temperature, and the material is separated by the volatilization and decomposition of PVDF. The secondary treatment can also be performed by organic solvent dissolution and alkaline dissolution. Then, the deep treatment, is a key step in the recycling of Li-ion batteries, which mainly includes leaching and separation, to get the different elements in the batteries.

Up to 80% of the materials in batteries can be recycled, and these materials will be recycled and reused for other products. The more batteries are recycled, the less resources are wasted and the less materials end up in the environment.
 
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3_gun

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In the real world most end up in landfills because of the cost & hazards of recycling. The only ones that I'd guess get recycled in any kind of good numbers are ones in a closed loop (think Tesla & a cars battery pack) Just like all the old solar panels in CA could be recycled but they aren't according to the news stories
 

vadimax

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Li-Ion technology is a deadly poison in its initial production. It is a deadly poison if not recycled properly. It is a deadly poison and highest level fire hazard if suffers a thermal runaway. But what do we have in between? -- Oh yeah -- the declaration of a nature friendly breakthrough progressive technology!
 

knucklegary

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"Renewable Energy" Solar panels, along with windmill hybrid fiberglass blades that are cost prohibitive to recycle. All ends up in landfills.
Now isn't that Green :clap:
Screenshot_20220724-092740.jpg
 

KITROBASKIN

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Thank you for the broad overview regarding recycling of our batteries. We can see that recycling is not as easy as flatulent criticism, with the implication that the archaic/toxic spewing of ancient plant life byproducts into the air is somehow superior to the clearly less than perfect solutions of today.
 

xxo

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Step one - pay to have them buried in a landfill far away from where you live.

Step two - congratulate yourself for saving the planet!
 

jtr1962

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Thank you for the broad overview regarding recycling of our batteries. We can see that recycling is not as easy as flatulent criticism, with the implication that the archaic/toxic spewing of ancient plant life byproducts into the air is somehow superior to the clearly less than perfect solutions of today.
Let's not kid ourselves. Despite the very real problems mentioned here regarding recycling the hardware for renewable energy generation when it reaches end of life, in the big picture it's still far better than the alternatives. Mining fossil fuels isn't exactly benign. There's a reason my home state banned fracking, for example. It would have destroyed our drinking water supply, for starters. And burning them is even less benign, causing a whole host of problems, including numerous health problems.

The issue here though goes far beyond what happens to batteries or solar panels or wind turbines. In a nutshell, the problem is our throw away society. We intentionally design things to need to be replaced in a few years, instead of designing them to be easily repairable, as well as upgradeable. We also use materials which often can't be easily recycled. Why are we using fiberglass blades in wind turbines instead of aluminum which can easily be 100% recycled? Why aren't we sending those older solar panels which still work to those who might not be able to afford new ones? Most solar panels don't fail. We simply made a decision to replace them when their output drops to perhaps 80% of initial value, or when more efficient ones are available. Meanwhile, those 20 year old panels can continue generating power for at least another generation. Send them to people who are too broke to buy a new system. Even if they have to pay a few hundred for shipping, it's still a bargain. Add in DIY installation for solar on a shoestring. And they'll benefit long after paying less or nothing for electricity. The only solar panels which need to be recycled are those which don't work at all.

As for batteries, in our obsession to get maximum run time and minimize charging time we use the highest capacity, most fragile batteries, and we treat them roughly with quick charges, even when use patterns don't require it. Small wonder we only get 300 to 500 cycles out of them. Meanwhile, LiFePO4 is good for 2,000 cycles and up, even over 5,000 if treated gently.

The key here is to start making things last longer, along with using more materials which can easily be recycled. Another part is donating still functional items to people who don't have them at all. The third part is just reducing consumption and energy use. Renewables may be better than fossil fuels, but even better is using less energy to start with.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Apologies for my previous post. Without petroleum we would not have the quality of life so many of us enjoy now. Transitioning from it sure seems like a good idea. Maybe some of the posts about waste in the green energy sector were meant to show that high-and-mighty folks crowing about how green they are reek of hypocrisy?

Thank You XTAR Light for your informative threads
 

jtr1962

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Maybe some of the posts about waste in the green energy sector were meant to show that high-and-mighty folks crowing about how green they are reek of hypocrisy?
To be sure some "greenies" are their own worst enemies but we shouldn't let that detract from all the great reasons to transition away from fossil fuels. Just the economic havoc oil price swings cause is reason enough.

I'd like people to think more about the entire life cycle of products they buy. Batteries are just a small part of electronic waste, but it's going to get worse unless we start increasing the life cycle of products.
 

desert.snake

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But in general, if rechargeable batteries replace 300-400 single batteries, and even if they are buried in some kind of container that does not allow leakage, somewhere deep in a former salt mine, then in the future they can probably be recycled in more modern ways, this is a good way to go, another thing is that many manufacturers are now starting to use rechargeable batteries in non-rechargeable disposable devices, especially disposable e-cigarettes.

Let's not kid ourselves. Despite the very real problems mentioned here regarding recycling the hardware for renewable energy generation when it reaches end of life, in the big picture it's still far better than the alternatives. Mining fossil fuels isn't exactly benign. There's a reason my home state banned fracking, for example. It would have destroyed our drinking water supply, for starters. And burning them is even less benign, causing a whole host of problems, including numerous health problems.

The issue here though goes far beyond what happens to batteries or solar panels or wind turbines. In a nutshell, the problem is our throw away society. We intentionally design things to need to be replaced in a few years, instead of designing them to be easily repairable, as well as upgradeable. We also use materials which often can't be easily recycled. Why are we using fiberglass blades in wind turbines instead of aluminum which can easily be 100% recycled? Why aren't we sending those older solar panels which still work to those who might not be able to afford new ones? Most solar panels don't fail. We simply made a decision to replace them when their output drops to perhaps 80% of initial value, or when more efficient ones are available. Meanwhile, those 20 year old panels can continue generating power for at least another generation. Send them to people who are too broke to buy a new system. Even if they have to pay a few hundred for shipping, it's still a bargain. Add in DIY installation for solar on a shoestring. And they'll benefit long after paying less or nothing for electricity. The only solar panels which need to be recycled are those which don't work at all.

As for batteries, in our obsession to get maximum run time and minimize charging time we use the highest capacity, most fragile batteries, and we treat them roughly with quick charges, even when use patterns don't require it. Small wonder we only get 300 to 500 cycles out of them. Meanwhile, LiFePO4 is good for 2,000 cycles and up, even over 5,000 if treated gently.

The key here is to start making things last longer, along with using more materials which can easily be recycled. Another part is donating still functional items to people who don't have them at all. The third part is just reducing consumption and energy use. Renewables may be better than fossil fuels, but even better is using less energy to start with.

Human nature is difficult to defeat, with some nations it is possible, a vivid example is Singapore and Japan, with some not - Haiti. If you look at India, then people simply throw garbage under their feet and into the rivers and it's impossible to make them behave in any other way, in any case, most of the castes. We have 50/50 here, some are trying to separate the garbage, some are just throwing it around everywhere and it doesn't matter if it's hazardous chemical waste or a bag from bread. For the sake of interest, I asked where the batteries and accumulators, which are rented in special tanks in shopping centers, go. It turns out that they are not processed here, it is not economically profitable, they are simply buried at a special landfill. After a little investigation, it turned out that this special landfill is just a site usually a dump for all garbage. We need very strict state regulation with heavy fines for manufacturers of things that break down quickly and for poorly recycled packaging, or better yet, a prison. But then people begin to worry about their "rights", on the other hand, as long as most officials in the government are closely connected with manufacturers who benefit from producing cheap trash, the situation will not change. Even if we temporarily replace the people in government with those who care more about the environment, after a while they can again be replaced by people who will benefit from cheap poisonous junk. Maybe if the whole earth was ruled by 1 single government aimed at environmental well-being ... but good people die and they can be replaced by pretty bad people. Then it is necessary to give the reins of government into the hands of robots who will not care about profit by any means, but to maintain a balance on the planet. A very powerful artificial intelligence that could not depend on people and maintain its working state and, if necessary, influence recalcitrant people with the help of weapons or other methods. But here again, freedom fighters can appear and everything will fly to hell. I think that in 60-80 years most of the planet will become a poisonous desert. But hope no.
1658753642093.png
 
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knucklegary

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But in general, if rechargeable batteries replace 300-400 single batteries, and even if they are buried in some kind of container that does not allow leakage, somewhere deep in a former salt mine, then in the future they can probably be recycled in more modern ways, this is a good way to go, another thing is that many manufacturers are now starting to use rechargeable batteries in non-rechargeable disposable devices, especially disposable e-cigarettes.

Human nature is difficult to defeat, with some nations it is possible, a vivid example is Singapore and Japan, with some not - Haiti. If you look at India, then people simply throw garbage under their feet and into the rivers and it's impossible to make them behave in any other way, in any case, most of the castes. We have 50/50 here, some are trying to separate the garbage, some are just throwing it around everywhere and it doesn't matter if it's hazardous chemical waste or a bag from bread. For the sake of interest, I asked where the batteries and accumulators, which are rented in special tanks in shopping centers, go. It turns out that they are not processed here, it is not economically profitable, they are simply buried at a special landfill. After a little investigation, it turned out that this special landfill is just a site usually a dump for all garbage. We need very strict state regulation with heavy fines for manufacturers of things that break down quickly and for poorly recycled packaging, or better yet, a prison. But then people begin to worry about their "rights", on the other hand, as long as most officials in the government are closely connected with manufacturers who benefit from producing cheap trash, the situation will not change. Even if we temporarily replace the people in government with those who care more about the environment, after a while they can again be replaced by people who will benefit from cheap poisonous junk. Maybe if the whole earth was ruled by 1 single government aimed at environmental well-being ... but good people die and they can be replaced by pretty bad people. Then it is necessary to give the reins of government into the hands of robots who will not care about profit by any means, but to maintain a balance on the planet. A very powerful artificial intelligence that could not depend on people and maintain its working state and, if necessary, influence recalcitrant people with the help of weapons or other methods. But here again, freedom fighters can appear and everything will fly to hell. I think that in 60-80 years most of the planet will become a poisonous desert. But hope no.
View attachment 30123
In the 60's the intelligent folks took barrels nuclear waste and buried it in a remote area out in the Nevada desert. The same brilliant folks took the barrels and dumped them in the Ocean outside SF Bay at the Farallon Islands. Nothing more than rocky protrusions 30 miles out in Pacific. The area has since been designated a Marine Life Sanctuary. It's also home to the largest Great White sharks..
Barrels of nuc in both locations are leaking due to corrosion,, they have been for decades now.
I think the planet already has become toxic.

So what's a few lithium ion batteries in comparison?

Btw, I viewed that burning wind mill on tv. News casters didn't mention how fire started. They only spouted global warming.. yada yada..
Looked pretty clear to me Texan sharp shooters having some fun over the weekend (-;
 
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kerneldrop

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Everybody better start working on their cardio, strength and endurance if we're going to end fossil fuels
 
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