The future of automotive lithium-ion battery recycling: Charting a sustainable course

Elsevier, Sustainable Materials and Technologies, Volume 1, December 01, 2014
Gaines L.

This paper looks ahead, beyond the projected large-scale market penetration of vehicles containing advanced batteries, to the time when the spent batteries will be ready for final disposition. It describes a working system for recycling, using lead-acid battery recycling as a model. Recycling of automotive lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries is more complicated and not yet established because few end-of-life batteries will need recycling for another decade. There is thus the opportunity now to obviate some of the technical, economic, and institutional roadblocks that might arise. The paper considers what actions can be started now to avoid the impediments to recycling and ensure that economical and sustainable options are available at the end of the batteries' useful life.