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Recycling Power

March 2022 battery circular economy trends, announcements and news from Australia and around the world Copy

Highlights – presenting battery recycling to school kids, recycling trends and workforce funding

  1. B-cycle, Australia’s battery stewardship scheme, launches – news as reported to school kids
  2. A pathway for propelling Australia’s battery industry towards 2030
  3. Waste Advantage Magazine’s – 2022 Battery Recycling Trends
  4. Zinc batteries – a growing area for new and recycled batteries
  5. European Commission – 10 million euros (A$15.4m) to support battery industry workforce development
  6. Refining the treatment of used EV batteries to maximise the recovery of critical minerals
  7. Become an ABRI member
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1. B-CYCLE, AUSTRALIA'S BATTERY STEWARDSHIP SCHEME, LAUNCHES - NEWS AS REPORTED TO SCHOOL KIDS

There has been much coverage of the B-cycle, Australia’s battery stewardship scheme launch. However, for such an important milestone for Australian battery recycling, ABRI thought it was worth headlining again in this newsletter but with a different viewpoint. Listen to how the launch was reported via these news segments for kids promoting B-cycle and battery recycling:

  • ABC Behind the News report on battery recycling which includes teacher resources so that students can learn how batteries work and why it is important to recycle them safely. The website indicates that the education resources support Years 5-7 (Australian school system) Science and Years 5 to 6 Design & Technologies.
  • Squiz Kids daily news fix New Lease of Life for Batteries. Squiz Kids is a daily podcast of news and current affairs stories from Australia and around the world.

B-cycle officially launched on 15 February with the launch generating 30,000 visits to the website on the day of the launch. It marks a step change in support for the Australian battery recycling industry and is an initiative that the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI) has driven and supported for many years.

The launch video, including a speech by the Hon Trevor Evans, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and the Environment, and a lively panel discussion on battery recycling and the circular economy is available on YouTube.

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2. A PATHWAY FOR PROPELLING AUSTRALIA'S BATTERY INDUSTRY TOWARDS 2030

The Future Battery Industry Cooperative Research Centre has set out a pathway to grow Australia’s battery industry which currently adds $1.3b value and 6,000 jobs to Australia’s economy. Australian industry covers the entire battery value chain. Well endowed with minerals, Australia has a 50% market share in critical ores, a growing and diversifying battery manufacturing base, and an expanding battery recycling sector.

The report sets out two broad directions

  1. Visionary policy settings to drive investment:
    • Develop and champion a National Battery Strategy
    • Expand the Modern Manufacturing Initiative funding program with an investment of $1 billion per year for batteries for five years
    • Invest $750m to establish an Australian Battery Institute
  2. Underpinned by mechanisms to support domestic and international consumption
    • Adopt practical measures such as rebates, fiscal support, concessions
    • Promote Australia as the sustainable, trusted choice for battery industries
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3. WASTE ADVANTAGE MAGAZINE'S - 2022 BATTERY RECYCLING TRENDS

Waste Advantage Magazine has published an article with its views on 2022 battery recycling trends:

  • new recycling plants and processes
  • new legislation and regulation to strengthen safety
  • closing the loop (circular economy)
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4. ZINC BATTERIES - A GROWTH AREA FOR NEW AND RECYCLED BATTERIES

Zinc air batteries are commonly used in health and wearable devices and account for around 6% of sales by chemistry group in Australia.  They are recycled by Australian battery recyclers with the zinc extracted used in fertiliser.

Interest in zinc battery chemistry is growing, particularly for energy storage applications, with Bloomberg NEF forecasting zinc batteries to be 10% of the energy storage market by 2030. Large format zinc batteries are already used to back up data centres and are suited to long-duration energy storage – for example storing power from renewables for many hours or even days in the absence of wind or sunlight.

Since the start of 2022, ABRI has been approached by an Australian based company looking to commercialise its ultra fast charging zinc battery and met with the Zinc Battery Initiative (ZBI). The ZBI, formed in 2020, is a program of the International Zinc Association to promote rechargeable zinc batteries’ and encourage further adoption of these products.

For further information on zinc batter developments see this article by Dr Josef Daniel-Ivad, Manager of the Zinc Battery Initiative.

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5. EUROPEAN COMMISSION -10 MILLION EUROS (A$15.4M) TO SUPPORT BATTERY INDUSTRY WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

The European Commission’s Institute of Innovation and Technology and EIT InnoEnergy have signed a letter of intent for 10 million Euros in funding towards the European Battery Alliance (EBA) Academy. The EBA Academy is a programme designed to reskill and upskill 160,000 workers on average each year to 2025 throughout Europe to support the development of the battery value chain.

The Academy provides an education and training framework for businesses, bringing together researchers, entrepreneurs, businesses, and key stakeholders from 18 different countries. The grant will accelerate the Academy’s expansion of existing training modules, from augmented reality programmes and online educational materials, to in-person bespoke workshops. The diagram with this news article stylises the Academy’s service offerings.

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6. REFINING THE TREATMENT OF USED EV BATTERIES TO MAXIMISE THE RECOVERY OF CRITICAL MINERALS

A March 2022 study looking at different combinations of pyrometallurgy (heat) treatment followed by hydrometallurgical (water/chemical) treatment of EV batteries finds that pyrolysis at 700 °C for 30 min followed by leaching with sulfuric acid at air temperature achieves optimal results.

Recovery of critical metals from EV batteries via thermal treatment and leaching with sulphuric acid at ambient temperature by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden looks at the impacts of temperature and time on different treatments for recovering critical minerals from EV batteries.

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7. 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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