Friday, May 07, 2021
By CarKhabri Team
What to do With Dead Batteries of Electric Cars?
It is believed that by 2030 there will be more than 30 million electric cars running on different countries of European continent. In words of Dr Anderson, Co-Director, Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials, the rate of growth by which these vehicles are expected to grow has not been ever witnessed by any of the newly products launched in the international market. Well this is not the matter of concern, because the presence of so many electric cars on roads will not do any harm to the environment. The matter of concern is what will happen to these cars when they will not be suitable to drive, especially what will happen to their batteries.
According to Dr Anderson, the normal age of vehicles is between 10 and 15 years, it is important that we have an industry to recycle their components. Dr Anderson points that although the components of electric cars are the same as normal gasoline cars, the basic difference is the battery. The lead acid batteries are easy to recycle, the same is not possible for the lithium-ion batteries.
The lithium-ion batteries are bigger in shape and heavy than the batteries installed in the normal cars. They are developed from hundreds of lithium-ion cells all of which are required to be disposed properly. If these batteries are not disposed properly it is possible they will explode drastically. Going through this concern in a recent proposal made by countries of European countries it will be the responsibility of the electric car manufacturers that all the components of their cars are not dumped like normal parts, but they need to make a proper plan for their dismantling.
Following this practice, the German car manufacturer Volkswagen has recently established its first recycling plant in Salzgitter, Germany. The carmaker will recycle 3,600 batteries per year in this plant. During recycling different materials are recovered during the process including cobalt, manganese, nickel, and lithium. The components like aluminium and copper are shared for recycling to different organizations doing this business.
At present most of the elements in the battery are minimized during the process recycling. This process is known as black mass containing the mixture of cobalt, lithium, manganese, and cobalt. It further needs extra energy to make these materials suitable for reuse. Dismantling these batteries manually although makes it easier to recover these materials but suffers from lots of other problems.
In short the best way to cater to this problem is to develop a strong waste management system which aims on proper dismantling of these batteries without any damage to environment.