Safety in the Recycling of Lithium-Ion Batteries


Lithium-ion batteries make advances in consumer electronics and electric mobility possible. High energy and power density — in addition to improved cycle and calendar life — make Li-ion the battery chemistry of choice for applications from portable consumer devices to electric vehicles (EVs) and grid energy storage. The question of what should be done with the batteries at the end of their lives is fueling one of the most significant emerging problems in the world of waste management. Recycling batteries plays an important role in addressing rising demand for such devices and applications. Efficient and safe recycling processes can recover the constituent materials and enable a circular economy by driving the optimization of resources, reduce the consumption of raw materials, and recover waste by recycling or giving it a second life as a new product. Such processes, however, come with their own risks and challenges, as described in this white paper.