With the rise in the sales of Evs, there is one question that has been on the minds of everyone involved in the process. People are concerned about how the EVs and their batteries will be disposed of. This question has been waiting to be answered for quite some time now. When compared to petrol and diesel vehicles, Evs are a new technology and are very different from them.The answer to this question is simple, recycling. Fortunately, research and development into recycling lithium-ion batteries have been ongoing for many years. Many businesses in India are already recycling batteries.
It is important to keep in mind that before being recycled, the battery can be repurposed too. If the battery is not damaged while being used in an EV, these batteries have an estimated 80% of the original rated capacity. This means that if the battery was originally designed to hold 100 kWh, it can still hold up to 80 kWh. The batteries can be repurposed and used in a less demanding application to make use of the remaining capacity, or they can be broken down to salvage smaller components for reuse and refurbishment. These used batteries are an excellent way to extend the life of a previously manufactured product and they also contribute to the renewable energy transition. Once repurposed, the batteries are then ready to be recycled.
Lithium-ion batteries contain various valuable materials that should be recovered and kept away from landfills. The battery is disassembled and shredded prior to recycling using large machinery. This machinery breaks the battery into small pieces. After shredding, the materials are sifted and separated based on size. This categorises them into three groups: plastics, ferrous materials, and non-ferrous materials, also known as black mass. The cobalt, lithium, nickel, and manganese, are contained in the black mass and can be recovered individually using a hydrometallurgical process. These materials, once recovered, can be processed and used to make new lithium-ion batteries. This is a better option than using virgin ore because it reduces the amount of mining required to produce EVs.
The number of EVs on the road is increasing steadily and the number of EVs retiring in the coming years will rise as they are totaled or age out of the fleet. This increase will result in a much higher percentage of vehicle batteries being recycled. Battery end-of-life management is critical for ensuring that batteries are disposed of safely and that materials are recovered and reused in battery manufacturing. Many people are working to make sure that EV batteries are reused, repurposed, and recycled. This is in addition to the work that is being done to speed up the adoption of EVs and make them the permanent replacement for petrol and diesel vehicles.