Lithium-ion batteries recycling trends and pathways - A comparison

Author(s) Y.Han, S.Bedrossian, R.Fraser, M.Bellino, T.Bibienne
Published in the proceedings from the 62nd Conference of Metallurgists (COM 2023) - August 21-24, 2023 - Toronto, ON


Lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) are increasingly in demand for energy storage and use in electric vehicles. Recycling of these end-of-life (EOL) batteries is considered one of the most effective ways for recovering elements such as lithium, manganese, cobalt, and nickel and circulating them back to the battery materials’ supply chain. However, few articles have been published which discuss the recycling chain, starting from LiBs to the production of battery grade (BG) nickel/cobalt sulfates (which are used to produce pCAM) with CAPEX, OPEX, and timeline estimates. This article summarizes the pretreatment process of LiBs to Black Mass and compares subsequent hydrometallurgy processes to convert Black Mass to BG sulfates, along with high-level summaries of the CAPEX, OPEX, and timelines. Besides, the critical path of project implementation is also presented.