China power battery scrap tide to attack, the next layout of the giant recycling market!An opportunity or a challenge
Recently, eight departments, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, jointly issued a notice on the Implementation Plan for Accelerating the Comprehensive utilization of Industrial Resources.The full text of the circular is only more than 5,000 words, the content is focused on the standard management of industrial renewable resources.Among them, the most eye-catching is the recycling of waste power battery.The notice clearly points out that the traceability management of the whole life cycle of the power battery of new energy vehicles should be strengthened to create a sound power battery recycling system!This may be a lot of people do not understand, is not the recycling business of second-hand batteries, why the country also issued documents for guidance to emphasize it?In fact, the discussion of power battery recycling has become the number one event in China’s new energy market in the past two years.Starting from 2020, this seemingly simple industry began to make countless new energy enterprises feel headache!So what is the point of recycling power batteries?What are the technical challenges in recycling?What impact does the rise of power battery recycling business have on China’s new energy market?Do you know how many new energy vehicles will be sold in China in 2021?The China Automobile Association says 3.521 million.It is also predicted that the sales volume of new energy vehicles in China will reach an unprecedented 5 million units in 2022, accounting for more than 18% of the global market.All these data show that China’s new energy market is rising rapidly with an irresistible trend.At the same time, the rise of the new energy market, also means the rapid expansion of the scale of the power battery market.According to statistics, from 2015 to 2020, China’s annual power battery installation increased from 16GWh to 63.6GWh, a direct increase of four times.However, the expansion of the power battery industry has also brought another problem, that is, the processing pressure after batch decommissioning!As you know, the life of new energy vehicles is different from that of fuel vehicles.With the passage of time, the power battery of new energy vehicles will gradually aging, and its battery quality and battery charge will also decline.Generally speaking, the service life of power lithium battery is about 5-8 years.However, to be on the safe side, the effective life of the power battery on the new energy vehicle is almost only 4-6 years.In other words, the original power battery of a new energy vehicle sold in 2015 will be retired by 2020.According to the development history of New energy vehicles in China, it is expected that the first batch of power batteries will be retired in 2021.Think about the power battery market in China just mentioned by Da Dong, and you can imagine how many power batteries will be retired.Its size is astronomical!Now, at this point, some people might think, why not just dump these old batteries and bury them?Of course not.As many of you have learned in your childhood, discarded batteries contain high levels of heavy metal pollutants such as lead, mercury, cadmium and nickel.If discarded as ordinary garbage or simply buried in landfills, these pollutants can easily leak into the soil and groundwater pollution.Although in comparison, the power lithium battery uses lithium metal and lithium alloy as the main material, the content of heavy metals is less.But today’s lithium-ion batteries almost always contain cobalt in their positive electrodes.Once excessive precipitation, its pollution is also not low.In addition, there are a lot of lithium hexafluorophosphate in the electrolyte of lithium battery.The substance is inherently toxic and deliquescent.Hydrofluoric acid will be generated after the reaction with water in the air, resulting in fluorine pollution.In addition, solvent hydrolysis, combustion may also generate small molecular organic matter easily soluble in water, resulting in water pollution.Waste battery pollution before someone did an experiment, a 20 grams of mobile phone battery, can easily pollute 6,000 cubic meters of water.If buried in the soil, it can directly contaminate 1 square kilometer of the surrounding land, and the pollution age can be up to 50 years.Imagine how serious the pollution would be if a car battery weighing several tons was dumped in the environment.In addition to environmental considerations, the economic loss of power battery waste is also incalculable!As we all know, with the rapid expansion of the new energy market in the past two years, the price of raw materials for power batteries is also rising.Cobalt and lithium are the most representative.At the peak of the market, it can be called a price a day.Let insiders call “cobalt grandma” “lithium grandpa”, countless giants end up scrambling to stockpile goods.The international trading market is a chaotic scene, enough to see the value of power battery materials!But what many people don’t know is that there are a lot of metals in retired power batteries that can be recycled.For example, nickel, drill and manganese in the positive electrode of ternary lithium battery can be extracted and recycled by chemical means, and then reused.What’s more, these reusable metals are scarce resources, even globally.With the further expansion of the new energy market, the value of these resources will be higher and higher.In such a situation, if the retired power battery is simply discarded, the scarce resource that has been purchased at a high price will also be wasted.This is clearly not the best choice for China’s long-term new energy strategy.Therefore, the recycling of retired power batteries seems to be a new energy terminal industry, but in fact it is a necessary condition for the sustainable development of the industry, and also an essential link of China’s new energy industry chain.It is based on such considerations that the country has made a series of policies to promote the development of the industry in recent years!But the development of the power battery recycling industry, and not as simple as imagined, even once so many new energy giants failed!At present, there are two main ways to deal with the recycling of retired power batteries. One is the cascade utilization, which means that after the power battery reaches its design service life, it will continue to be applied in other market fields by means of detection, repair and modification.To know that the car power battery “retired”, does not mean that its potential has been exhausted completely scrapped.Because according to the existing standards of new energy vehicles, in order to ensure the driving range and safety of the car, once the capacity of the power battery is lower than 80%, it needs to be replaced.At this time, these new energy power batteries retired from the front line still have a great reuse space.It can be used as a power supply carrier in other fields.Such as signal base station, low speed electric vehicle, electric energy storage and so on!As long as the functional components of these power batteries can operate effectively, they can be applied again.Power battery echelon utilization While the ideal is full, the reality is rather skinny.Because in the face of cascade utilization, the power battery recycling industry has to face a very serious problem, that is, the battery remaining life and performance evaluation.At present, major new energy manufacturers are strictly confidential about battery technology, which makes recycling companies unable to read key information such as the core power management system and communication protocol, and cannot effectively define the battery life.And because of the early development of the new energy market, the brand standards of power batteries are too confusing.In addition, it is difficult to evaluate the performance of retired power batteries due to the different use conditions in the later period, which leads to the failure of normal flow into the echelon utilization market.Of course, in addition to echelon utilization, the retired power battery can also be directly disassembled and recycled.This method is relatively simple. It only needs to disassemble, purify and reproduce the metal elements that can be reused inside the power battery.Compared with cascade utilization, disassembly and recycling eliminates key steps such as detection, repair and certification.Therefore, today’s battery recycling enterprises mostly adopt this method.However, the disassembly and recycling method also has another disadvantage, that is, the processing cost is too high, difficult to profit.Because of the extraction process of precious metals in power batteries, there will be a lot of pollution problems to deal with.And want to use these precious metals for profit, but also need mature technical equipment to ensure the extraction rate.All of these require a lot of financial and technical support.However, nowadays, the recycling price of waste batteries is still relatively expensive. It is very possible to spend 10,000 yuan to buy retired batteries, and only 8,000 yuan of usable metal can be extracted.As a result, the only people who can really profit from this method are those illegal “black workshops”, while the regular army is struggling to survive!Does this mean there really is no future for power battery recycling in China?Of course not, because now with the improvement of new energy industry, these pain points are being solved one by one!The giants together to break the game is to bear the brunt of the new energy car manufacturers.For example, in 2018, dongfeng, FAW and other 11 new energy vehicle companies took the lead in signing a letter of intent with China Iron Tower on the construction of power battery recycling system.To promote retired power battery echelon utilization industry.In addition, BYD, one of the earliest car companies in China’s new energy vehicle market, is vigorously promoting power battery technology while also laying out the recycling business of power battery. Over the years, it has set up nearly 40 recycling outlets around the world.At the end of last year, a new company was directly established to focus on promoting the recycling of used batteries.Power battery recycling and in addition, led by ning de times of power battery manufacturers, as well as the official policy is to give the blue ocean industry a shot in the arm.In this way, from battery manufacturers, to car manufacturers, and then to the industry supervision.When all links are connected, a complete traceability management system for the whole life cycle of power battery can be built, so as to guide the industrial chain to grow up in a more normal and healthy way.Realize “good money” to drive out bad money, and finally open the last kilometer of China’s new energy industry chain!Of course, this is a protracted market, which may take years or even decades to perfect.But fortunately, our new energy market is just getting started, and we have the time and ability to do it.When we succeed, China’s new energy market is bound to step to a new level again and become a real global king of new energy!Here, Dadong wishes this day could come as soon as possible!