According to Australia’s peak Science Organisation CSIRO. Australia creates 3,300 tonnes of lithium-ion battery waste every year, with that figure growing by 20 per cent year on year, and expected to reach 100,000 tonnes by 2036.
The demand for lithium-ion technology is only increasing – but we are only recycling 2% of what we throw out. By comparison, of the 150,000 tonnes of lead-acid batteries sold in 2010, 98% cent were recycled.
If recycled, 95 per cent of Lithium-Ion battery components can be turned into new lithium-ion batteries or used in other industries.
The majority of Australia’s battery waste is shipped overseas, and the waste that remains left in landfill, leading to potential fires, environmental contamination, and risk to human health.
CSIRO research is supporting a push for recycling, with work underway on processes for recovery of metals and materials, development of new battery materials, and support for the circular economy around battery reuse and recycling.
“As a world leader in the adoption of solar and battery systems, we must responsibly manage our use of lithium-ion technology in support of our clean energy future; CSIRO has set out a pathway to do this,” says CSIRO battery research leader Dr Anand Bhatt.
“The value for Australia is three-fold. We can draw additional value from existing materials, minimise impact on our environment, and also catalyse a new industry in lithium-ion re-use/recycling.”
“The development of processes to effectively and efficiently recycle these batteries can generate a new industry in Australia. Further, effective recycling of lithium batteries can offset the current concerns around lithium security,” he says.
Australian Battery Recycling Initiative CEO Libby Chaplin says the report comes at a critical time.
“Currently we are racing towards a world where lithium batteries are a very big part of our energy supply, yet we have some real work to do to ensure we are able to recycle the end product once it has reached its use by date,” she says.
CSIRO: Lithium-ion battery waste to exceed 100,000 tonnes by 2036 https://t.co/CoH4p6j4wQ
— USA News Group (@USANewsGroup) July 17, 2018
CSIRO report says Australia could lead world in re-use and recycling of lithium-ion batteries, generating potential billion-dollar industry, and helping to push down costs of EVs and battery storage. https://t.co/jzXEsqn9Ax
— RenewEconomy (@renew_economy) July 16, 2018