Many companies regularly recycle batteries in order to reduce both environmental pollution and waste. However, more and more companies have begun focusing their attention on recycling lithium batteries, in particular. Why? According to a recent webinar led by BCC Research analyst Srikanth Reddy, they’re everywhere.
Fueling everything from mobile devices to cameras to laptops, lithium-ion batteries are becoming increasingly prevalent in the automobile, power, industrial and consumer electronics industries. Consequently, Reddy shared, advancements in lithium battery technology are imperative in meeting consumer demand.
“These growing requirements of lithium batteries have helped in the research and development activities by major companies,” Reddy said. “Also, there are a couple of start-ups coming into the market of recycling lithium batteries, so that is going to boost the growth of the lithium battery recycling market, especially in North America.”
In the webinar, Reddy shared three major processes that are currently used for lithium battery recycling: hydrometallurgical, pyrometallurgy and physical/mechanical. These distinct technologies help bring lithium-ion batteries back to life, so their materials can be recycled and reused.
- The United States lithium battery recycling market is expected to grow from $766.2 million in 2018 to $2.2 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.2% during the forecast period.
- The North American lithium battery recycling market in the automobile industry was valued at $75 million in 2018 and is expected to reach $409.3 million by 2023 at a CAGR of 40.4%.
- The North American lithium battery recycling market in the consumer electronics market was valued at $1.0 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $2.6 by 2023 at a CAGR of 20.6%.
While the benefits of lithium battery recycling include a reduction in waste, pollution and soil contamination, there remain a few key constraints inhibiting market growth. For one, lithium used in batteries must have a purity of over 95% which, as Reddy said, is quite high. Also, extracting the raw materials from lithium batteries is a costly process. One proposed solution to this restraint is government subsidy.
“The current government is looking into the kind of subsidies that they can provide to the manufacturers or recycling companies, so everyone can participate and invest in this new technology so that in the future there won’t be a lot of scrap lithium batteries which, again, drives us into environmental pollution,” Reddy said.
According to BCC Research, the current North American lithium battery recycling market was valued at $1.2 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $3.2 billion by 2023 at a CAGR of 22.7%.
For more information on the North American lithium battery recycling market, refer to the report, “Lithium Battery Recycling: North American Markets.”