Historically, Li-Ion batteries have been composed of a cobalt-based constituents, which allowed for the recovery of significant value in the recycling process. However, recent trends towards reducing the costs of battery manufacturing, as well as optimizing batteries for greater safety, durability, and power output, have lead battery manufacturers to use non-cobalt based constituents. Such constituents include Iron Phosphate, Manganese Spinel, and Nickel Manganese.
Regardless of the chemistry, we can manage your batteries through a single recycling process. We have been recycling lithium batteries for over 20 years and have processed over 25 million pounds.
Larger battery packs, such as those from hybrid and electric vehicles, first go through a manual disassembly process. Here, one of our skilled technicians will carefully dismantle the pack, separating assembly pieces and circuitry from the actual battery cells. Such disassembly must be done with the utmost care, as a large battery packs contain enough energy to seriously injure those who attempt this process without the proper equipment or training. That's why large generators depend on us to recycle these large format batteries.
Separated cells and smaller packs (i.e. laptop, power tool, and cell phone) are then fed by conveyor to an automated crusher. This crusher, which operates under a liquid solution to prevent fugitive emissions and to reduce the reactivity of processed batteries, produces three types of materials:metal solids, metal-enriched liquid, and plastic fluff.
The metal solids may contain various amounts of copper, aluminum, and cobalt (depending on the type of Li-Ion battery processed), which can all be used as raw materials in new products. The metal-enriched liquid is solidified using filtering technology, and is sent off-site for further metal purification.