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Secrets Of Battery Recycling Operation Shows How Lithium Is Recycled

Many people are anxious about how to recycle lithium batteries on electric cars. Volkswagen has opened its battery recycling factory for the first time, allowing the public to see how these batteries can be reused and reduce environmental effect.

In this 8-minute video, if we condense it into one sentence, we would say: crush the battery, use magnets and filters to sort out various metals and polymers, and separate the precious metals.

Volkswagen Group Components, a subsidiary of the FUCHS Group, began testing a battery recycling plant in Salzgitter, Germany, in January 2021. The unit is going to be able to handle 1,500 tons of lithium battery systems per year.

Does it sound unusual to weigh and recharge a trash battery before disposing of it? This confirms the battery’s health; if it’s still working, it can be used for power storage or other low-power equipment.

With current recycling technology, after a group of batteries is recycled, only 70% of the raw materials can be retrieved, and they will be able to increase to 90% in the future, but this is still a waste for the precious lithium-ion battery raw materials, so they must confirm that the battery is truly unusable before dismantling and recycling.

After the checkup, discharge it for safety. The staff then removed the battery pack’s modular pieces including the aluminum frame, copper wire, and most plastic shell pieces.

After disassembly, the massive battery pack becomes a little battery module transferred to the metal grinder, where electrolyte and precious metals of the battery cell produce a mixed trash pile.

After various steps, the battery will be split into three bags: plastic, aluminum, and copper.

The CO2-saving recycling process avoids blast furnace melting. Shredders grind ssed batteries parts into granules and dry them. The method also yields “black powder,” which comprises lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, and graphite.

Air drying, mesh screens, and magnets are used to turn the pile of broken batteries into “black powder.” This is a precious black powder that contains precious metals like lithium, magnesium, cobalt, and nickel.

The black powder will be transported to partner manufacturers for liquid metal dissociation. Using water and other solvents, the precious metals will be separated and packed before being sent to a battery factory as raw material.

With the rise of electric vehicles, lithium batteries will also increase. By 2020, 100,000 tons of decommissioned batteries will be produced, and by 2040, 7.8 million tons will be scrapped annually. Battery recycling technology is becoming more important because it can save battery factories expensive raw materials and reduce environmental impact.

Read more: Secrets that makes electric cars produce more CO2 than fuel cars ≡ Know99

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