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China Explores New Ways for Lithium Battery Recycling

On March 10, the first domestic Internet platform for the lithium battery recycling industry "Lithium Source" ( was launched. The main initiator of the platform is Miracle Automation, JDT and the co-founders include the Solid Waste and Chemical Management Technology Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

According to industry and academic analysis, most of the raw materials of power batteries can be recycled. In addition, the price of raw materials has soared in recent years. Entering the field of power battery recycling can ensure the safety of the supply chain and reduce costs. However, the power battery recycling industry in a "blue ocean" has the problem of being "small, scattered, and chaotic", and the industry urgently needs to implement high-quality development.

Giants eyeing at power battery recycling field

In addition to Miracle Automation, since this year, Fangyuan, CATL, Geely, and other new energy vehicles upstream and downstream enterprises have entered the field of power battery recycling.

An important reason is that the recycling, disposal, and utilization of power batteries will be one of the critical sources of power battery raw materials. CATL announced on January 30 that the company plans to invest 23.8 billion yuan from its holding subsidiary Guangdong Brunp Recycling Technology Co., Ltd. to build an integrated new material industry production base. The project covers the recycling of 500,000 tons of waste battery materials.

"Most of the materials in the battery can be recycled. At present, our recovery rate of nickel, cobalt, and manganese is 99.3%, and the recovery rate of lithium is over 90%." Zeng Yuqun, chairman of CATL, previously introduced that after 2035, CATL uses materials from decommissioned power batteries to meet a large part of market demand.

Many new energy giants have gathered in the field of power battery recycling, with the same intention of "grabbing mines" before, that is, to ensure the safety of the supply chain and reduce costs. Song Jingchuan, senior investment manager of Co-Stone Capital, said: "The price of lithium carbonate rose rapidly before, which accelerated the development of the power battery recycling industry. Now the industry has entered a period of rapid expansion."

"It is expected that recycling will gradually replace mining in the future and become the main source of battery metal raw materials." Cui Chenlong, director of the investment department and fund manager of First Seafront Fund, introduced that enterprises in the new energy automobile industry chain have deployed the field of power battery recycling in advance, which can further improve raw materials diversity of sources to ensure supply chain security.

Will the “green economy" profit in the future?

There are more than 73,000 companies in China whose business scope includes "battery recycling", of which about 36,000 were established in 2022. Before 2018, there were only about 6,000 related companies.

At present, China has initially established a lithium battery recycling system, which can be divided into four models according to different recycling entities: car companies, battery factories, battery recycling companies, and Internet + industry alliances.

Based on the average service life of power batteries of 5 to 8 years, the first batch of power batteries put into the market in China is facing retirement.

By 2025, the cumulative number of decommissioned power batteries in China will reach 137.4 GWh, and the waste batteries that need to be recycled will reach 960,000 tons.

Many companies' layouts in the power battery recycling industry will bring more carbon indicators, and it is also one of the profitable businesses in the future. One thing worth noting is that a large part of Tesla's revenue comes from carbon indicator sales.

In the future, the power battery recycling industry will develop in a more environmentally friendly, green, efficient, and low-cost direction.

Will the "green economy" profit in the next 5 to 8 years? Or it is another rise and fall story for the over-heated and overestimated investment?

Leave your message below to tell us your opinions.


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