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End-of-life Management of Lithium-ion Batteries from Electric Vehicles: Selected References on Problem Scope, Regulatory Environment, and Circular Economy Opportunities

End-of-life Management of Lithium-ion Batteries from Electric Vehicles: Selected References on Problem Scope, Regulatory Environment, and Circular Economy Opportunities

Compiled by Laura L. Barnes, M.S.L.I.S., Sustainability Information Curator, Illinois Sustainable Technology Centre; 2021-09

Compiled by Laura L. Barnes, M.S.L.I.S., from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, the report “End-of-life Management of Lithium-ion Batteries from Electric Vehicles: Selected References on Problem Scope, Regulatory Environment, and Circular Economy Opportunities” is a critical resource for understanding the complex world of lithium-ion battery (LiB) disposal. This report is particularly relevant to the mission of the Green Wings Project, as it echoes our commitment to creating a sustainable future by managing electronic waste effectively. The focus on LiBs in electric vehicles (EVs) offers significant insights, directly applicable to our initiatives targeting the recycling of similar battery technologies in e-cigarettes.

The report, which delves into the rapidly expanding use of LiBs in EVs and hybrid vehicles, underscores the escalating need for effective end-of-life (EoL) management of these batteries. It highlights how LiBs, once a power source for a plethora of electronics, have now become central to the green revolution in transportation. This surge in usage presents a dual challenge: managing an increasing volume of battery waste and navigating the complex regulatory landscape surrounding their disposal. These challenges resonate with the Green Wings Project’s efforts to streamline the disposal and recycling process for disposable e-cigarettes, which often contain similar battery components.

Barnes’ report meticulously analyzes the problem scope, beginning with the dramatic rise in light-duty EV sales in the U.S., and projecting a significant increase in LiB waste. By 2030, the report anticipates an overwhelming 11 million tonnes of LiB waste from EVs alone. This looming waste management issue mirrors the challenges faced by Green Wings Project in handling e-cigarette waste. The report also explores the current regulatory environment in the U.S., focusing on how different states are addressing the EoL management of LiBs. This analysis is crucial for organizations like ours, providing guidance on navigating the regulatory complexities of battery recycling.

Furthermore, the report delves into opportunities and barriers within the circular economy for EoL LiBs. It examines the potential of repurposing and recycling these batteries, aligning with the Green Wings Project’s mission of promoting a circular economy approach in electronic waste management. The report discusses the ReCell Center’s efforts towards closed-loop recycling and the broader implications of establishing a circular economy for batteries in supporting the clean energy sector. This perspective is invaluable for our work, as it emphasizes the importance of extending the life cycle of electronic components, thereby reducing the environmental impact.

As we at the Green Wings Project continue to develop strategies for efficient and sustainable recycling of electronic waste, including e-cigarettes, this comprehensive report by Laura L. Barnes offers an essential reference point. It provides a detailed overview of the challenges, regulatory frameworks, and future opportunities in managing LiB waste from EVs, offering insights that are directly applicable to our initiatives in handling similar types of electronic waste.

Click to read the full article here.

Featured image via Kumpan Electric on Unsplash

About Green Wings Project:

Established in 2022, Green Wings Project is a non-profit organisation working with a charitable cause. We hope to promote, for the benefit of the public, the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment through promoting, identifying and advancing solutions for recycling, reuse and harmless disposal of disposable/single-use electronic products. Currently, we are running a focused initiative on disposable vape recycling.

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About Us

Established in 2022, Green Wings Project is a charity organisation that aims to promote, for the benefit of the public, the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment through promoting, identifying and advancing solutions for recycling, reuse and harmless disposal of disposable/single-use electronic products.

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