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.@UCSUSA hosting a workshop on battery recycling and reuse at #TRBAM. While the oil industry and trolls like to point to battery issues as a knock against EVs, we’re working towards solutions.
.@ENERGY working to develop low/no cobalt batteries, recycling R&D, logistics of collecting used batteries
.@argonne leading collaboration with 2 other national labs, 3 universities to develop cost effective process for recycling Li-ion batteries. They are pursuing a “direct recycling” approach... e.g., recover cathode material without affecting chemical composition.
...also looking at direct recycling of carbon anode, copper current collectors, and even electrolyte. The more components that can be recycled, the less cost in waste disposal.
Argonne estimates cost, energy, water benefits of direct recycling method. Major drawback is that the cathode chemistry recovered in this method will likely be out of date by the time battery is recycled (e.g. 10 year+ life of a vehicle)
.@NREL and @ENERGY running a prize program to get batteries in the recycling stream to begin with. Looking for solutions around collection, separation of different chemistries, safe transportation. Thinking about batteries in consumer electronics and stationary storage too.
Reuse a common question...challenges are that car companies don’t want liability of their batteries being used by third parties at end of vehicle life and proprietary nature of battery electronics and cooling systems...even in reuse scenarios, recycling needed at some point.
One expert commented that there is essentially no data on recycling rates for lithium ion batteries. Wonder what internal data companies like @Apple, @SamsungMobile, @Tesla, @GM, @BYDCompany have on this.
Great talk by @gggaustad...check out her Google Scholar for a ton of good resources on recycling: scholar.google.com/citations?user…
Differences across manufacturers not limited to battery chemistry, electronic and temperature controls, but also physical size and shapes of battery packs that make recycling/reuse challenging
ICYMI, LG Chem announced battery manufacturing plant (30 GWh/year capacity) in Michigan that will be larger than the Gigafactory (20 GWh/year capacity) bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
Interesting comment on global auto market...large fraction of car sales in developing countries are used vehicles from elsewhere (some have import bans on used cars though)...so end of vehicle life could come outside of country of origin...
One policy solution on the logistics/sorting side of things:

Require a barcode on the battery that indicates the chemistry. The Society of Automotive Engineers has worked on this but nothing in place to make it happen yet.
Industry perspective: *can’t* wait until EV market is going 💯 before we figure out how to recycle and have logistics and infrastructure in place
Industry: There is a disconnect between reality of market (recycling happening today) and perception (that it’s not). Recycling not to extent we want it to be in part b/c not that much material yet for manufacturers to rely on.
Industry: Global nature of market indicates need for international collaboration on policy and technology.
Reuse not really happening from industry perspective. Batteries are designed for a specific function. EV battery not necessarily designed for second life in stationary applications. Not really a safety issue but a performance issue.
Lead-acid batteries constantly invoked in conversations around lithium ion battery recycling. The one take away from lead acid batteries is that a high degree of recycling is possible (~45 states have recycling fee at purchase).
But lead smelting a pretty nasty process, see Exide atrocity in Los Angeles. Lithium batteries way safer to recycle. latimes.com/local/lanow/la…

One thing lead acid has is that they are all same chemistry, making logistics easier.
Should we build recycling plants near manufacturing or near end use? Transportation costs a major fraction of recycling costs...today, lithium ion batteries are classified as hazardous waste when transporting.
Will likely see a two staged process...first break down battery locally enough that safety risks of transport are addressed (e.g., drain electrolyte)...then transport to regional facility for further recycling.
BMW an exception and is looking at reuse of EV batteries
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