Episode 10: Battery Recycling
Modern batteries also lose their capacity depending on the time and intensity of use. But they are by no means worthless: Recycling and the so-called "second life" of batteries are therefore becoming increasingly important. The widespread lithium-ion batteries still have an energy content of 70 to 80 percent of their original capacity after approx. 2,000 charging cycles. It is therefore neither economically nor ecologically sensible to dispose of them in this condition.
Old e-car batteries can therefore be used for stationary operation. They are much less stressed there than in the car. Stationary operation - for example for use as home storage - is much more even: charging and discharging are only slow, which means that it is much gentler on the battery. Corresponding series of measurements of aging processes in the laboratory have shown that "Second Life" can still last 10 to 12 years.
At some point, however, there comes a point when a battery has to be disposed of. The raw materials contained in a battery are still too valuable to not be recycled. Many car manufacturers work with recycling companies to do this. The aim of these partnerships is to recover 95 percent of valuable raw materials.
Dr. In this episode, Matthias Buchert from the Öko-Institut explains the recycling processes and the challenges involved in recovering all raw materials. He also predicts the chances of using batteries a second time.