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Welcome to the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative

Recycling Power

July 2022 – Battery circular economy trends, announcements and news from Australia and around the world

Highlights – Australian battery recycling industry rapidly expanding

  1. Australian Battery Recycling Initiative passes the 50 member milestone – three new lithium battery recycling start-ups in 2022
  2. Australia – expanding and accelerating the battery value chain
  3. Nature Energy editorial – Time for lithium-ion alternatives
  4. US – Combined lead acid and lithium recycling park to start operations from 2023
  5. US EPA data gathering to inform development of battery collection best practices, including voluntary labelling
  6. US – Growing body of work on responsibility for EV battery recycling, reuse and repurposing
  7. PreScooter report – State of Battery Recycling across Europe, China and North America – can we meet 2030 LiB recycling targets?
  8. Become an ABRI member
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1. AUSTRALIAN BATTERY RECYCLING INITIATIVE PASSES THE 50 MEMBER MILESTONE - THREE NEW LITHIUM BATTERY RECYCLING START-UPS IN 2022

Over 50 organisations are now part of the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative and are supporting a safe and sustainable battery circular economy. This milestone together with the launch of B-cycle, Australia’s battery stewardship scheme, was celebrated at a member function on 29 June organised with the support of UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures.

Battery recycling in Australia is a national industry contributing to the recovery of critical minerals and value adding to the local manufacturing base. ABRI’s growing representation across the battery value chain positions us as a leading industry voice.

Over the first half of 2022, over 10 organisations have joined reflecting the rapid growth in the Australian battery recycling sector. This includes: three start-ups in lithium-ion battery recycling; a new entrant to automotive battery reuse and repurposing; existing companies in the used lead acid battery recycling sector; and a new alkaline battery recycler.

Companies accredited through the B-cycle scheme have also joined ABRI to support industry best practice.

ABRI’s membership is diverse and represents all battery chemistries with recycling operations in every jurisdiction.

For information on joining ABRI visit our website.

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2. AUSTRALIA - EXPANDING AND ACCELERATING THE BATTERY VALUE CHAIN

The Queensland Government has announced it will invest $15 million to scale up the National Battery Testing Centre. The Centre is a partnership between the state and federal governments, industry and the Queensland University of Technology. It will provide validation and safety testing for all types of batteries with various chemistries, including lithium-ion, and the larger, redox flow batteries both made in Australia or internationally.

The initiative will be one of a range of actions to be part of the Queensland Battery Industry Strategy to be released in late 2022.

The recently elected Australian Government also has a commitment to support Australia’s battery industry through measures including:

  • Partnering with the Queensland Government to create a Battery Manufacturing Precinct in Queensland, backed by a $100 million Commonwealth equity injection; and
  • Developing a National Battery Strategy to bring government and business efforts together for the long term good of the nation.

Australia already has lead acid battery manufacturing capacity and a battery energy storage plant is under construction in Newcastle, NSW. This complements Australia’s rapidly expanding battery recycling industry as discussed above. There is an emerging trend of automotive and mining companies integrating battery recycling operations through vertical integration.

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3. FUTURE BATTERY TECHNOLOGIES - WILL THEY MOVE BEYOND LITHIUM?

In June, the 2022 International Meeting on Lithium Batteries (IMLB) discussed lithium battery technology developments in the pipeline and potential future technologies including non-lithium based batteries. The June Nature Energy editorial – Time for lithium-ion alternatives – also discusses next generation batteries and alternatives to lithium.

Even if a handful of these technologies come to market, they will pose challenges for recyclers who will need to manage more battery chemistries at end of life. Pleasingly designing for recycling was a topic of discussion at the IMLB meeting.

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4. US - COMBINED LEAD ACID AND LITHIUM RECYCLING PARK TO START OPERATIONS FROM 2023

ACE Green Recycling (ACE) has announced plans to build and operate a battery recycling park in Texas, USA. The facility will be emissions-free and recycle both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries when fully operational.

The recycling park is expected to start phase 1 operations in 2023, starting with the recycling of lead-acid batteries and will be followed with a lithium-ion battery recycling facility in proximity. When operating at full capacity, ACE expects the facility to process and recycle up to 100,000 metric ton of used lead-acid batteries and 20,000 metric ton of used lithium-ion batteries annually by 2025.

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5. US EPA DATA GATHERING EXERCISE TO INFORM DEVELOPMENT OF BATTERY COLLECTION BEST PRACTICES, INCLUDING VOLUNTARY LABELLING

As part of legislative priorities to ensure a supply chain for clean energy technologies, such as supply chains for critical minerals and battery materials, the US EPA is developing best practices for battery collection for recycling. This includes supporting battery recycling through the development of voluntary labelling guidelines and communication materials for consumers and producers on battery recycling.

To support the development of these and other programs, the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR) within the US EPA has issued a voluntary information request on the end-of-life management of batteries, including information on their generation, collection, recycling, reuse, as well as the current labelling standards/requirements for batteries regarding their end-of-life. The EPA is interested in:

  • Single-use and rechargeable batteries
  • All battery chemistries
  • All battery sizes and applications including consumer batteries, electric vehicles and grid energy storage), and industrial batteries used in manufacturing, commercial businesses, and healthcare operations
  • Battery life cycle flows from producers through to consumers to recyclers and how these groups and others are educated on how to manage batteries at the end-of-life

ABRI will continue to monitor developments in the US and keep stakeholders up-to-date.

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6. US - GROWING BODY OF WORK ON RESPONSIBILITY FOR EV BATTERY RECYCLING, REUSE AND REPURPOSING

As transport electrification accelerates, so does work on recycling, reusing and repurposing batteries.

Two detailed proposals have recently been released in the US with similar frameworks for responsibility for recycling, reusing and repurposing EV batteries.

Further information on the policy proposals can be found at:

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7. PRESCOOTER REPORT - STATE OF BATTERY RECYCLING ACROSS EUROPE, CHINA AND NORTH AMERICA - CAN WE MEET 2030 LIB RECYCLING TARGETS?

PreScooter has released a Report setting out:

  • Regulatory frameworks for end of life EV batteries in the EU, Germany, France, UK, Italy, US, Canada and China
  • Recycling targets
  • Sources of recycled materials
  • The optimum way to recycle LIBs
  • Key players in the battery recycling space
  • Recent research advances
  • Dominant LIB chemistries within the next decade
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8. BECOME AN ABRI MEMBER - THE BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP

Workshops – Presentations and policy discussions from leading industry players and research institutions

Policy and advocacy – working with governments on a national waste tracking system

News – member bulletins on key regulatory and other events, general bulletins on industry news

Collaboration with Australian Battery Industry Association on industry issues e.g. lithium ion battery safety

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT US!
CLICK HERE TO JOIN
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