CellMine

Lead Participant: Impact Laboratories Limited

Abstract

Lithium batteries are notoriously difficult to recycle. Impact have identified a process (CellMine) which will allow the Cathode metals to be suitable for recycling. As a result a large volume of batteries which was previously sent to landfill, incinerated or lost into the environment will be recovered and could be reused in new batteries.

As the popularity of electric vehicles starts to grow explosively, so does the pile of spent lithium-ion batteries that once powered those cars. Industry analysts predict that by 2020, China alone will generate some 500,000 metric tons of used Li-ion batteries and that by 2030, the worldwide number will hit 2 million metric tons per year.

At home in the UK, the Faraday project predicts Britain will have 3 fully functional gigafactories running by 2030, creating up to 6500 cells per day. This equates to a potential 2000 tonnes of battery waste at end of life-- 730,000 tonnes per year, leading to 1.8m t/CO2 of extra GHG emissions.

With demand for lithium, cobalt and other metals set to grow and companies looking at deep-sea strip mining, a commercial solution to recover and reusing these metals must be found to meet future demand and prevent the further destruction of our environment. Without commercially viable methods for recycling lithium ion cells the UK risks these being lost or dumped in the environment where the heavy metals contained within them risk leakage into the environment as well as this scarce resource being lost.

Benefiting from CellMine technology the UK will aim to prevent this battery waste from ending up in landfill sites up and down Britain or being housed in hazardous waste storage facilities, possibly located in socially deprived areas.

CellMine's ambition is to create a new industry in the UK. An industry that will provide jobs and financial stability for families up and down the UK. It will help propel Britain to the forefront of green technology innovation, closing the loop on battery recycling.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Impact Laboratories Limited, Grangemouth £49,998 £ 39,998

Publications

10 25 50