Recycling of End-of-Life Lithium Ion Batteries, Part I: Commercial Processes

  • Haruka Pinegar
  • York R. SmithEmail author
Review Article


Lithium ion batteries (LIBs) are an essential energy-storage device for a majority of advanced electronics used in our everyday lives, from cell phones and laptops, to medical devices and electric vehicles. Despite their continued widespread adoption, methods to recycle and reuse end-of-life (EOL) LIB materials are still under active development. In the first part of this two-part review on LIB recycling, we review current commercial scale processes in practice for recycling or reusing EOL LIB components. Future waste projections estimate 4 million tons of cumulative EOL EV battery modules by 2030, which is above the current global recycling capacity. All of the processes in use today utilize a combination of pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical or mechanical and hydrometallurgical processing to recover mainly cobalt and nickel and copper, while other components are disposed as waste unless further processed. In this review, we highlight the need for recycling LIB material components based on resource availability and the current processes in practice to recover and recycle LIBs.


Lithium ion batteries Recycling Pyrometallurgy Hydrometallurgy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Metallurgical EngineeringUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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