Impact of Automated Battery Sorting for Mineral Recovery from Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling in the United States

Dustin Weigl, David Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations

Abstract

The United States has identified several lithium-ion battery materials as critical for reaching the national emission reduction targets that have been set in accordance with the 2015 Paris Agreement. However, with few natural resources available domestically, there is a rapidly growing focus on the development of a domestic recycling industry to recover these materials from end-of-life batteries. In this paper, we use the Lithium-Ion Battery Resources Assessment (LIBRA) system dynamics model to evaluate the impact of automated battery sorting technology in terms of the shares of cobalt and nickel that are recovered through recycling. Findings show that automated sorting has clear benefits over manual sorting methods by helping recyclers selectively process high-cobalt batteries. By maximizing cobalt recovery, recycling becomes more profitable and drives greater investment in recycling capacity, resulting in a higher share of nickel and cobalt recovered from EOL batteries over time.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number106936
Number of pages8
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Volume192
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-84067

Keywords

  • Battery recycling
  • Battery sorting
  • Electric vehicles
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • System dynamics

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