Fluoride Action Network

Lithium-ion Battery Recycling: News Articles – national & international.

Lithium-ion battery recycling | March 15, 2021 | By Ellen Connett

Note: This series on the the use of incineration to recycle lithium-ion batteries that was proposed for Endicott NY is under construction, and will be complete by March 20, 2021. The Fluoride Action Network was interested in this project because the novel use of incineration to recoup valuable metals would be a new, and non-assessed, exposure route to large amounts of hydrogen fluoride.

National & International Articles:

February 16, 2021. Scientists propose a cheap and safe way to recycle lithium batteries for electric vehicles. News Release, National University of Science and Technology MISIS [Russia].
“… NUST MISIS specialists have developed a universal method of opening batteries, the resource of which has been fully drained: they use a cryogenic vacuum installation, which is their know-how and is protected by a patent… As a result of the application of the technology, the following substances are obtained at the output: spent electrolyte, which is recycled, and valuable metals: steel, nickel, titanium and lithium…”

February 15, 2021. Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize Drives Recovery of Spent Batteries. By U.S. Department of Energy.

February 15, 2021. Exclusive: Battery Recycler Li-Cycle Nears SPAC Deal to Go Public – Sources. By Joshua Franklin, Reuters, U.S. News & World Report.
Note: Li-Cycle uses a non-burn process and opened a recycling facility in Rochester, NY, in December 2020.

February 5, 2021. Implications of EPA Designation of PFOA and PFOS As “Hazardous Substances”. By Fox Rothschild LLP.  JD Supra.

February 4, 2021. Episode 4: Inside Li-Cycle’s Rochester, NY Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Facility. By Stefanie Valentic. Waste 360. See a 24 minute YouTube walk through of Li-Cycle’s new commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Rochester.

February 4, 2021. Amnesty urges bold action to clean up the battery industry. Amnesty International.

January 25, 2021. Green Lithium Mining is a Bright Green Lie. Dispatches from Thacker Pass. By Max Wilbert. Sierra Nevada Ally.
See the website of the activist group resisting the Thacker Pass lithium mining project at https://www.protectthackerpass.org/

2021. Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize.

January 25, 2021. Lithium miner back in the driving seat on electric vehicle rebound. By Nick Toscano. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia).
Excerpts:  “… hard-rock lithium concentrate [is] known as spodumene… Australia is the world’s top exporter of lithium, accounting for 55 per cent of supply, which it ships mainly to China for processing…”

.January 22, 2021. Solving the Li-ion Battery Waste Menace. By Shipra Singh. Entrepreneur India. See report cited: Safety Risks to Emergency Responders from Lithium-Ion Battery Fires in Electric Vehicles by the National Transportation Safety Board, Nov 2020.

January 21, 2021. Risks to Emergency Responders from High-Voltage, Lithium-Ion Battery Fires Addressed in Safety Report. Homeland Security Today.

January 7, 2021. Eco-Friendly Method to Recycle Lithium Batteries Lowers Costs. By Elizabeth Montalbano. Design News. See also full-text study this article is based on.

December 18, 2020. Nevada’s Vast Stores Of Lithium Could Fuel The Energy Transition. But At What Cost? By Noah Glick. KUNR Public Radio, BBC World Service.
Excerpt: “… The lithium here is in clay, rather than hard rock. … The company estimates that once the mine is fully operational, it’ll supply a quarter of global lithium demand. But first, the raw lithium needs to be converted into lithium carbonate… Nevada already has the world’s largest lithium-ion battery plant, the Tesla Gigafactory… The Tiehm’s Buckwheat is a rare wildflower that lives on just 21 acres of this area. As far as we know, it doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. And it’s entire habitat lies within the project boundaries of the proposed lithium mine…”

December 17, 2020. Battery Recycling Prize Announces Phase II Prize Winners. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

December 12, 2020. Amazon, Panasonic, and recycling start-ups prepare for battery wave tsunami. By Charlie Wood. CNBC.
Excerpt:   “… [LI-Cycle] structured their business around a ‘hub and spoke’ model. Because batteries are fire hazards, they can be expensive to transport safely. To keep distances down, Li-Cycle intends to collect batteries at local “spoke” facilities, which shred the bricks into three components: plastic casings, mixed metals (such as foils), and the active materials like cobalt and nickel at the battery’s heart — a dark dust known as “black mass.” Li-Cycle can sell these materials directly or ship the black mass to a central “hub” factory and immerse it in liquids at room temperature that Johnston says extract the metals at 90% to 95% efficiency — even lithium, which many processes struggle to capture efficiently…”

November 25, 2020. The new ‘gold rush’ for green lithium. BBC Future Planet.
Excerpt: One promise of geothermal mining is that the extraction process requires little to no fossil fuel consumption, and uses less land and water (Credit: Leonardo Soares/BBC)One promise of geothermal mining is that the extraction process requires little to no fossil fuel consumption, and uses less land and water (Credit: Leonardo Soares/BBC)

November 19, 2020. Battery recycling firm receives funding. By Brian Taylor. Recycling Today.
Excerpt: “Canada-based Li-Cycle closes funding round intended to help build Rochester, New York, facility.”

November 15, 2020. ISWA: Lithium-ion batteries and fire risk. By Jeff Cooper. LetsRecycle.com

November 12, 2020. Environmentally friendly method could lower costs to recycle lithium-ion batteries. University of California – San Diego.

October 24, 2020. Momentum Technologies licenses cobalt extraction process. By Chris Randall. electrive.com.

October 22, 2020. The importance of recycling electric vehicle batteries. By Beatrice Browning. Air Quality News.
“… Tesla announced that they intended to produce EV batteries with cobalt-free cathodes… However, cheaper cell chemistries become problematic as the energy expended in extracting the metals from the spent batteries is greater than that recovered during recycling – meaning that their initial value does not always cover these processing costs. Recycling will only become cost-efficient when the value of the material is greater than the cost of recovery.”

October 16, 2020. Lithium Batteries: Mitigating Risks and Executing Recalls When Needed. By Crowell & Moring LLP: (Cohen M, Falvey CA, Giblin JA). Lexology.
Excerpt: “There is no mandated regulation for lithium ion battery storage; just guidance and recommended best practices from various agencies.”

October 12, 2020. EcoGraf (ASX:EGR) signs MoU with SungEel Hitech for battery recycling. By Lisa Simcock. The Market Herald (Australia).

October 11, 2020. EcoGraf : EGR – Strategic Agreement with South Korean Battery Recycler. Press Release.

October 6, 2020. Air pollution particles in young brains linked to Alzheimer’s damage. By Damian Carrington. The Guardian (UK).

October 5, 2020. U.S. Takes Stake in Battery-Metals Firm to Wean Itself Off China. By Eddie Spence. Bloomberg.

Excerpt: “TechMet Ltd. received a $25 million investment from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to help develop a Brazilian nickel and cobalt mine, the Dublin-based company said Monday in a statement. Cobalt is an important ingredient in cathodes of most electric-vehicle batteries and its refining capacity is largely under China’s control.”

October 2, 2020. This eco-friendly battery is powered by the smell of vanilla. EuroNews.

September 29, 2020. Li-Cycle Named to the World Circular Economy Forum’s List of Circular Economy Solutions Inspiring the World. Press Release by Li-Cycle Corp.

September 17, 2020. PFAS in food: European Food Safety Authority assesses risks and sets tolerable intake. EFSA (European Foods Safety Authority).

September 15, 2020. DNR issues warning about PFAS concentrations in deer near Marinette. By Emily Friese. WKOW.com (Madison WI).

September 9, 2020. China Dominates the Global Lithium Battery Market. Institute for Energy Research (IER).

September 7, 2020. Electric Storage Explosion Highlights Danger of a Growing Technology. By Jim Sams, Insurance Journal.

Excerpt: …McMicken storage facility in Surprise, Ariz. started smoking… firefighters opened a door to the steel structure that housed lithium-ion batteries to investigate the source of the smoke… A few minutes later, a jet of flame shot out an estimated 75 feet from the door. Four firefighters were hospitalized, two of them with traumatic brain injuries.

See also: Arizona Lithium Battery Storage Explodes -4 Firefighters Hospitalized (4/2019).

September 4, 2020. Eat an orange and save an old lithium-ion battery. Eco Business.

August 27, 2020. Orange peel helps to recycle lithium-ion batteries. The Engineer.

orange peel
The team demonstrated their concept using orange peel, which recovered precious metals from battery waste efficiently. They then made functional batteries from these recovered metals, creating minimal non-toxic waste in the process (Credit: NTU Singapore)

August 27, 2020. Li-Cycle recovers usable battery-grade materials from shredded Li-ion batteries. By Charles Morris. Charged.
Excerpt: “…You have these generalized “recyclers” that deal with those batteries. They often thermally treat them—they’re burning off plastic and electrolyte in the batteries… Instead of a thermal process, what we [Li-Cycle] do is a mechanical and chemical process. It’s two steps.”

August 4 ,2020. Neometals & SMS Group Set Up JV for Recycling Lithium-Ion Batteries. Steel Guru. The following graphic was included with the article:

neometals-sms-group-lithium-ion-batteries-recycling_49516.png Image Source: Neometals SMS Group Lithium-Ion Batteries, Recycling

August 3, 2020. Neometals enters lithium-ion battery recycling joint venture. By Danica Cullinane. SmallCaps.

August 3, 2020. Argonne National Laboratory Claims Breakthroughs In Li-ion Battery Recycling. By Richard Chirgwin. Solarquotes Blog.

August 3, 2020. Firefighters injured in APS explosion acted ‘in accordance with best practices’. Energy Storage.

July 27, 2020. APS Details Cause of Battery Fire and Explosion, Proposes Safety Fixes. By Julian Spector. GTM (GreenTech Media).

June 30, 2020. Why Resource Recovery is Critical to the Future of Clean Transportation. By Kunal Phalpher, Chief Commercial Officer (Li-Cycle Corp). Altener Energy Magazine.

June 20, 2020. UN highlights urgent need to tackle impact of likely electric car battery production boom. UN News.

June 9, 2020. Energy storage emerging: A perspective from the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research. By Trahey L, Brushett FR, Balsara NP, etc. PNAS.

Fig. 1.

June 8, 2020.  Fire Triggers Call for Stronger Battery Rules By Tom Krisher. Also in Press & Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton NY. Page 4B.

April 19, 2020. SungEel HiTech leads the way in eco-friendly recycling of lithium-ion batteries. South China Morning Post.

Feb 28, 2020. Recycling plants are catching on fire, and lithium-ion batteries are to blame. By Jillian Mock. The Verge.

February 13, 2020.  Stranded Energy—The Battery Issue Challenging Fire Departments. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Excerpt: “…As they’d been trained, firefighters shot copious amounts of water directly at the flaming battery, and extinguished the fire in a couple of minutes. After eight more minutes with no reoccurrence of fire, they turned off their hoses. But the severed battery continued to hiss and pop, sounds Diaz likened to “slamming a hand on a kitchen table.” Firefighters feared the vehicle’s frame could be energized, but they lacked tools to test it. They also lacked the proper protective equipment to handle or remove the battery’s energized lithium ion cells, and there was no way for responders to drain the massive amount of energy still clearly trapped in the unstable battery.”

NFPA Journal : Stranded Energy within Lithium-Ion Batteries

Excerpt: “…Stranded energy – defined as the energy remaining in a cell after efforts to safely discharge the stored energy in damaged lithium-ion cells – is an important, unresolved issue. Residual, stranded, DC energy within damaged lithium-ion batteries presents a significant fire and shock hazard – particularly to emergency responders.”

January 10, 2020. Korea’s GS E&C to invest $86 mn on Li-ion battery recycling plant in Pohang. By Kim Sung-hoon, Choi Hee-seok, and Cho Jeehyun. PulseNews.com
Excerpt:  The siting is “in a regulation-free zone on the country’s southeastern coast of Pohang… Regulation-free zone is a type of special economic zone where regulations are exempted for development of industries identified as future growth engines. There are 14 cities and provinces designated as regulation-free zone in Korea including Pohang…”

Dec 5, 2019. November 2019 Fire Report: A Live Lithium-ion Battery Explosion. By Ryan Fogelman.

Aug 1, 2019. Recycling Lithium-ion Batteries: How to Dispose Your Lithium-ion Batteries. By James Kao, Founder/CEO Green Citizen.

June 19, 2019.  Arizona Lithium Battery Storage Explodes -4 Firefighters Hospitalized (4/2019). 12news.com. Hydrogen Societies.

June 14, 2019. South Korea Identifies Top 4 Causes for ESS Fires. By

April 23, 2019. Explosions Threatening Lithium-Ion’s Edge in a Battery Race. By Brian Eckhouse and Mark Chediak. Bloomberg.com

March 21, 2019. Amnesty challenges industry leaders to clean up their batteries. Amnesty.org

February 18, 2019. Argonne lab leading U.S. push on lithium batteries: ‘If we don’t recycle, we will run out of materials’. By Tammy Webber, Associated Press. Chicago Tribune.

Excerpt: “The U.S. government will lead an ambitious effort to develop technologies to recycle lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles, cellphones and other sources to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of metals crucial to battery production in anticipation of soaring global demand and potential shortages, Department of Energy officials said Friday.
“Calling the effort a national security issue, the agency announced a $15 million, three-year research and development project housed at the Argonne National Laboratory near Lemont.”

January 17, 2019. Energy Department Announces Battery Recycling Prize and Battery Recycling R&D Center. Department of Energy website.

Statement by Rick Perry, former Secretary, Department of Energy.
“America’s dependence on foreign sources of critical materials undermines our energy security and national security…DOE will leverage the power of competition and the resources of the private sector, universities, and the National Laboratories to develop innovative recycling technologies, which will bolster economic growth, strengthen our energy security, and improve the environment.”

April 12, 2018. ‘Urban mining’ in South Korea pulls rare battery materials from recycled tech. Jane Chung, Ju-min Park. Reuters.

March 2013. Potential Hazards at Both Ends of the Lithium-Ion Life Cycle. Battery recycling is a delicate business. By Mark Anderson. IEEE Spectrum.

See also:

The proposal in Endicott, Broome County, NY.

Background on IBM pollution in Endicott, NY.

Key Documents for the proposal in Endicott NY.

Studies and Reports on Lithium-ion Battery Recycling

National & International Articles

See also:

The proposal in Endicott, Broome County, NY.

Background on IBM pollution in Endicott, NY.

Key Documents for the proposal in Endicott NY.

Studies and Reports on Lithium-ion Battery Recycling

News articles: National & International

News Articles: Local, State & Press Releases