Second life and recycling

When industrial batteries reach the end of their useful life, they can pose an environmental challenge. All batteries contain materials that can be hazardous if not properly disposed of or recycled. 
Fortunately, many battery types can already be recycled. A few second-life applications for some batteries are also available.

At Celltech, we want to ensure the long-term sustainability of our battery solutions.

  • We provide long-lasting products.
  • Our batteries can be dismantled for recycling.
  • We actively participate in third-party research and development projects in battery recycling.
  • We arrange battery recycling in accordance with local regulations.

 

For both second life applications and recycling, more efficient and economical solutions are being developed. It has already been scientifically proven that recycling significantly reduces the carbon dioxide emissions of batteries. 

By recovering valuable materials through recycling, we can reduce the environmental impact of industrial batteries and create a more sustainable future.

Recycling lead-Acid Batteries

Lead-acid batteries are the most commonly used type of industrial battery. They are used in a wide range of applications, including automotive and industrial applications.

Lead-acid batteries undergo disassembly at recycling facilities, where they are separated into container plastic, soft plastic, lead, and battery acid. Depending on the specific recycling procedure utilised, nearly 80% of these materials can be reused. The lead component, in particular, can be recycled up to 96.8% of the time, with the majority of it being employed in the creation of fresh lead-acid batteries.

Read more about lead acid battery recycling.

Recycling Alkaline Batteries

Alkaline batteries are commonly used in consumer electronics, such as remote controls and toys. 

The recycling of alkaline batteries involves recovering valuable materials such as zinc, manganese, and steel from used batteries, which are then sorted, crushed, and separated using mechanical and chemical processes. In Finland, alkaline batteries are recycled into a valuable fertiliser with a bioreactor system that extracts zinc and manganese. The recovery rates of metals using this technology are 90%, making it an efficient and effective solution for reducing waste and conserving resources.

Second life applications for Lithium Batteries

Lithium batteries are commonly used in portable electronic devices, electric vehicles, and energy storage systems. Second life applications for lithium batteries include stationary energy storage for renewable energy and backup power.

The recycling volumes of lithium-ion batteries are still low, but they are growing. The higher the cobalt content in the battery, the more economical is the recycling. Recycling of low-cobalt lithium-ion batteries is the most challenging.

In Europe, the recycling rate for lithium batteries is currently only around 5-10%.  The recycling capability is expected to increase in the coming years as recycling technology improves.

Recycling Nickel Cadmium batteries and Nickel Metal hydride batteries

Nickel Cadmium batteries and Nickel Metal hydride batteries are commonly used in cordless power tools, medical equipment, and other industrial applications. These batteries contain nickel, cadmium, and other materials that can be hazardous to the environment if not properly recycled.

Advanced technologies are used to extract valuable metals like nickel, cadmium, and cobalt from the batteries, which can then be reused in the manufacturing of new batteries or other products. The recycling process also ensures that hazardous material like cadmium is not released into the environment.

Celltech Lifecycle 2nd Life Application&recycling

The EU battery regulation

The EU is expected to publish its new battery regulation imposing new requirements for industrial battery systems in the summer of 2023. The regulation aims to promote using sustainable materials and recycling batteries sold in the EU.

The regulation applies to all batteries sold in the EU, including those used in electric vehicles, stationary energy storage systems, and other industrial applications. Manufacturers of these applications must ensure that the batteries they use comply with the new requirements.

Celltech fully supports the EU Battery Regulation and its objectives of promoting sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of battery production and disposal. We are actively working to ensure that our industrial batteries meet the new requirements, including using sustainable materials and design for easy dismantling and recycling.

We are proud to be at the forefront of this effort, and we look forward to continuing to work with our customers and partners to create a more sustainable future.

Read more about the effects of the regulation on companies that use batteries for industrial equipment.