How to Recycle Your Lithium-Ion Battery

How to Recycle Your Lithium-Ion Battery

While our lithium-ion batteries enable a greener form of transportation, the creation of new batteries can be associated with environmental and social harm. That’s why we want to provide our customers with up-to-date information on lithium-ion batteries and encourage recycling.

 

Summary

  1. What are lithium batteries?
    1. Powerful and lightweight batteries that can be recycled
  2. Why recycle lithium batteries?
    1. The elements required have many environmental and social implications throughout the supply chain. Recycling can help reduce these issues.
  3. How do we recycle lithium batteries?
    1. EPA guidelines and resources
    2. Find recycling or hazardous waste collection points near you

 

What are lithium batteries?

Because of their high energy density and lightweight characteristics, Lithium-ion batteries have become increasingly popular, whether for laptops, cell phones, cars, or e-bikes. These batteries require elements like lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese, and nickel.

 

Luckily these elements can be recycled! In general, there are three methods of recycling: pyrometallurgical recovery (melting the components down), hydrometallurgical recovery (dissolving and separating components), and direct recycling (shredding and separating components).

Breakthrough Research Makes Recycling Lithium-Ion Batteries More Economical

Why recycle lithium batteries?

Mining and improper disposal of the elements required for lithium-ion batteries have many environmental and social implications throughout the supply chain.

 

Socially, the lithium-ion battery supply chain can have a lot of adverse impacts. From forced labor and child labor used in the mining of cobalt to the exploitation of indigenous groups, there are many communities that are affected by the creation of lithium-ion batteries. Environmental impacts like toxic pollution, have social impacts so these too must be heavily considered.

Cobalt: The Human and Environmental Cost of the Blue Gold of our Energy Transitions

Environmentally, the production of lithium-ion batteries is associated with acidification, ozone depletion, smog, eutrophication, toxic waste, and global warming according to e-vehicleinfo.com. In addition, nature.com indicates that the extraction of lithium and cobalt requires large quantities of energy and water as well as soil and air contamination. These issues not only affect the health of ecosystems and living things on our planet, but they also damage the health of humans, especially those that live close to mining, processing, or production plants

 

South America's 'lithium fields' reveal the dark side of our electric future

 

As consumers, we also have a responsibility to dispose of our batteries appropriately, so metals and chemicals don’t end up in streams and landfills, polluting our communities and local environments.

 

How do we recycle lithium batteries?

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that lithium-ion batteries should NOT go in the trash. They SHOULD be taken to recycling or hazardous waste collection points. Before drop off, It is a good idea to call ahead to confirm specific battery specifications are accepted (Sex Panther/Rampage: 648 Wh, Phantom: 415 Wh, Dual: 252 Wh). To prevent fires, the EPA recommends taping terminals and/or placing lithium-ion batteries in separate plastic bags.

 

Miles Board is partnering with a local company, Second Life Lithium, to repurpose our end-of-life batteries as energy storage

 

Additional Resources:

  1. Breakthrough Research Makes Recycling Lithium-Ion Batteries More Economical
  2. Cobalt: The Human and Environmental Cost of the Blue Gold of our Energy Transitions
  3. EPA: Used Lithium-Ion Batteries
  4. How Lithium-ion Batteries Work
  5. Lithium-ion batteries need to be greener and more ethical
  6. Social and Environmental Impact of Lithium-ion Batteries
  7. South America's 'lithium fields' reveal the dark side of our electric future
  8. Indigenous people are left poor as tech world takes lithium from under their feet

Contact Miles Board if you have any questions regarding our batteries.

 

 


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