Recycling of Li-Ion Batteries: Challenges, Economics, and Effect on the Supply Chain

  • Abdulrahman Abdulla Almarzooqi

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis

    Abstract

    Today, millions of people around the world are using portable electronics devices and electric vehicles in their daily lives. A lot of these devices are using rechargeable lithium-ion batteries as their main source of power. The current study aims to study the environmental and economic opportunities obtained from recycling the end-of-life lithium-ion batteries. The main valuable metals that are used on these batteries are Lithium (Li), Cobalt (Co), and Manganese (Mn). The hydrometallurgical recycling method was used to recycle LIBs and recover most of the metals. For the characterization of the samples, we used 3 different characterization techniques: Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) characterization method was used and confirmed that the battery sample that we used was NMC battery and that because the combined weight of these three elements is almost %60 of the total sample weight. We got excited about this research, and we took it further where we took more research to produce supercapacitors. We have 3 different products, the first one is Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) with - 3% NMC, the second one Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) with - 5% NMC, and the last one Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) with - 10% NMC. From the results that we got from the experimental work and the characterization we found that the highest elements percentage was on the %5 sample. The results obtained from this experiment was used on the technoeconomic cost model analysis of hydrometallurgy to scale up laboratory-scale experiments into larger industrial scale. This research would be important for recovery of some valuable metals from spent LIBs, and it can be improved for higher metal recovery in the future. It is the goal of this study to quantify the environmental impacts and costs of remanufacturing Lithium-Nickel-Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) battery cells and to compare the results with the results of the production of batteries from virgin materials in order to determine whether battery remanufacturing is feasible. Based on the EverBatt cost model from Argonne National Laboratory, the first comprehensive study and database that is specially for the United Arab Emirates using the hydrometallurgical recycling method is created. Another goal is to develop an efficient recycling method for Li-Ion batteries, as well as to demonstrate the difficulties and some of the economic impacts on the supply chain. In addition, to develop a more efficient recycling method that is superior to the current hydrometallurgy methods that are currently used in the recycling of lithium-ion batteries. To look for new startup recycling methods that can be tested in the lab and have the potential to be scaled up to larger industrial scales.
    Date of AwardDec 2021
    Original languageAmerican English

    Keywords

    • Recycling
    • Li-Ion
    • Batteries
    • EverBatt
    • Techno-economic Model.

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