Millions of used EV batteries cannot be recycled, scientists are yet to find a solution

When the electric-car word was coined questions were raised like how can a small battery power an engine to drive thousands of kilometres and can they replace easy driving petrol cars in the market? Now with each year millions of electric cars are being produced and it is being believed that electric cars will soon take over petrol car in the next few decades.

The battery of these cars is a feat of modern engineering that helped in achieving human needs. A battery containing lithium and electrons produces energy to run an electric vehicle hundreds of kilometers.

However, when a battery runs out of life, all the green benefits it offers fade away. If such a battery ends up in a landfill they release problematic toxins that include heavy metals. While recycling electric batteries is a hard business as they can create short-circuit, combust and release toxic fumes.

Recycling problem

When EVs were rare in the market, there was less need to focus on the battery of those vehicles. But now, the growing market can push humanity towards a bigger climate crisis. Scientists are now working hard to find ways to tackle this recycling problem. 

Many industry experts predict that nearly 145 million EVs will be on the road by 2030 up from just 11 million in 2020. As more cars will now be on-road so more battery waste will be created but scientists are yet to find a way to recycle a battery. 

Governments around the globe are pushing measures to ensure the recycling of these batteries to a level. In 2018, China introduced rules to promote the reuse of EV battery components. By the end of this year, European Union is expected to bring new laws related to the recycling of EV batteries.

Chemical components

The problem with EVs is each battery varies in its chemical components and construction methods. The difference in these components and methods is what create difficulty to develop an efficient recycling method. Cells in the battery are held with tough glues and this makes it hard to recycle them.

For battery makers, it is very cheap to buy new minerals for making batteries than use recycled materials. Solving the recycling issue would prevent pollution and also help the government boost their economies and national security by increasing the supply of key battery material that is controlled by fewer nations.

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