How much lithium and cobalt can be recycled from a lithium ion battery?

A new report has outlined the fundamental challenges in recycling raw materials from lithium ion batteries as the industry faces a surge in end of life cells from electric vehicles.

Circular opportunities in the lithium ion industry is a new report by recycling industry expert Hans Eric Melin that, for the first time, breaks down the expected volumes of raw materials that could make their way back into the supply chain by 2025.

The report answers these key questions:

  1. How much lithium, cobalt and graphite will be recycled between now and 2025
  2. How is the end-of-life value chain for lithium-ion batteries structured and how will it evolve?
  3. Can lithium-ion batteries be efficiently recycled?
  4. Can lithium-ion batteries be used in other applications after its first use and what are the potential markets?
  5. Which opportunities and challenges are faced by key players in the market?

The report has been designed and written for the commercial lithium ion battery supply chain and institutional investors.

What do I receive? A three tiered benefit 

  1. Full report in PDF, 77 pages
  2. Executive summary in PDF, 25 slides
  3. 1 hour telephone consultation with the author
    > Price: £4,000 (excluding VAT)

How do I buy?
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence is delighted to be able to bring this report to its global client base. To purchase, please email for an immediate response.

Download the brochure Lithium-ion-Recycling-Report-2018-Brochure.pdf (535 downloads)

Comments on recycling and the report: 

Simon Moores, Managing Director, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

“Recycling of batteries is always in the top three questions we regularly receive at Benchmark and for good reason. It is one of the most important challenges faced by the battery and auto industry and one that is yet to be cracked.

“Hans Eric Melin’s report comes from first-hand experience of the battery recycling industry.”

“If you are seeking to understand the impact battery recycling will have on lithium, cobalt and graphite, then the report really is a must have.”

Hans Eric Melin, President & Founder, Creatin Inn (Author) 

“Our aim was to provide the first real overview of the global end-of-life market for lithium-ion but also to identify the barriers, drivers and opportunities the different market players are facing. Because we believe it’s only with that perspective it’s meaningful to predict future volumes of raw material from recycled batteries. 
“Having worked in the industry myself for many years, I think we created the product I always felt was missing. And by doing so, we also found results I previously never would have expected, which actually have an impact on the entire industry.”


What is in the report?

Executive summary
Sorting out opportunities from challenges
The lithium-ion EOL market demystified
Understanding lithium-ion
Why batteries reach end of life
Current end-of-life market
Current end-of-life management
Structure of the end-of-life market
Breakdown of recycling costs
Hurdles for efficient recycling
Reuse of portable batteries
Reuse of electronics
Consequences of low volumes
Impact of industrial batteries
The future of end of life

Can lithium-ion batteries really be recycled?
Current methods and players
Market drivers
Recycling of lithium
Cathode-to-cathode recycling
Alternative technologies
Remaining challenges

Is there a second life?
Why batteries can be used after their first life
Why batteries degrade
State of health
Is there are market?
Second life of electric vehicle batteries
Distributed energy storage
Utility-scale storage
Market size
Pack design
Liability and intellectual property
Market integration

Conclusion and forecasts

A graphical approach: Charts and figures in the report 
Lithium-ion batteries placed on the market 1995-2025
Chemistries and applications
Lithium-ion cells placed on the market per chemistry 2000-2016
Lithium-ion cells projected to be placed on the market per chemistry 2017-2025 (tonnes)
Lithium-ion cells placed on the market 2017 by application
Lithium-ion cells end-of-life 2000-2017 by application
Recycling structure for portable batteries in EU
Recycling structure for industrial batteries in EU
Recoverable metals in different lithium-ion chemistries
Breakdown of recycling costs
Lithium-ion end-of-life vs collected in Europe 2000-2015
Lithium-ion end-of-life vs collected in Europe 2005-2015, cumulative
Comparison reuse value laptop batteries
Worldwide market for used smartphones
Collection rates of lithium-ion batteries in Germany 2011-2016
Lithium-ion projected to reach end-of-life Europe 2016-2025
Lithium-ion projected to be collected in Europe 2016-2025
Lithium-ion projected to be placed on the market in Europe 2016-2025
Lithium-ion projected placed and to be placed on the market per application 2010-2025
Recyclers in Europe
Recyclers in North America
Recyclers in Asia
Material values in different lithium-ion chemistries
Profitability recycling facility
Approximate value for cathode material vs constituents
Average state of health 18650 cells
Potential for second life batteries for energy storage in US 2020-2026
Global volume lithium-ion batteries available for recycling per application 2010-2025
Global volume lithium-ion batteries available for recycling per chemistry 2016-2025
Lithium-ion batteries available for recycling per geographical market and chemistry 2025
Materials from recycled batteries in 2025

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