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Li-ion Battery Recycling Technology

Focus: GS III: Indian Economy

Why in News?

Recently, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) transferred cost-effective Lithium-ion battery recycling technology to nine recycling industries and start-ups.

About Li-ion battery recycling technology:

  • Li-ion battery recycling technology is an indigenous development that can process various types of discarded Li-ion batteries.
  • The technology has the capability to recover more than 95% of Lithium (Li), Cobalt (Co), Manganese (Mn), and Nickel (Ni) contents in the form of their corresponding oxides/carbonates with a purity of around 98%.
  • The recycling process involves leaching, followed by hierarchical selective extraction of metal values through the solvent extraction process.
  • The recovered secondary raw materials can be used for battery manufacturing or in other potential applications.
  • This technology has been developed under the Centre of Excellence on E-waste Management.

About Lithium:

  • Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal with the symbol Li and atomic number 3.
  • It is the lightest of all the metals and the least dense solid element.
  • It is highly reactive and flammable, and easily oxidizes in air or water.
  • Lithium is a rare element and is mostly found in minerals such as spodumene, lepidolite, and petalite.
  • It is also found in brines and clays in certain regions of the world, such as the “Lithium Triangle” in South America, which includes Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile.

Lithium has a range of industrial applications, including:

  • Lithium-ion batteries: It is a critical component of rechargeable batteries used in mobile devices, laptops, electric vehicles, and renewable energy storage systems.
  • Aerospace industry: Lithium is used in the manufacturing of aircraft parts due to its lightweight and strong structural properties.
  • Glass and ceramics: Lithium is used in the production of heat-resistant glass and ceramics, such as ovenware and laboratory equipment.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Lithium is used as a mood stabilizer in the treatment of bipolar disorder.
  • Lubricants: Lithium is used in greases and lubricants due to its ability to reduce friction and wear.

December 2023