Various research institutes in the U.S. are attempting to catch up with China to identify efficient methods to recycle lithium-ion batteries. These countries recycle and manufacture lithium-ion batteries, including those shipped back from the U.S.
The U.S. government will lead this technological development. U.S. will recycle lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles, cellphones, and other sources. As a result, the development will ensure an affordable and reliable supply of essential metal used to produce li-ion battery to fulfill potential shortage and global demand.
Raising this as a national security issue, the agency will provide US$15bn for a three-year R&D project. The Argonne National Laboratory in the outskirts of Chicago will provide space for the research. Currently, the U.S. is dependent on other countries for metals such as lithium. Moreover, this undermines national security because the source countries are not always close allies.
High Demand for Li-ion Batteries Reason behind the Program
A researcher of lithium-ion battery industry said it’s essential to collect enough batteries for recycling. He also added it is crucial to procure the batteries and store them in the U.S.
Experts added that recycling raw materials won’t do much good to the U.S., if it doesn’t manufacture batteries and finished products. “There is no sense in recycling if we are not going to use them in the U.S.”
Recycling lithium is important, as more companies use lithium-ion batteries in products. Even though, big companies will be able to source raw materials, small-scale manufacturers will rely on recycled material.