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Recycling of power battery and self-sufficiency dream

2022-06-24 09:36:09Wechat automobile

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Power battery recycling may end the new energy industry's unlimited demand for the earth's resources . But how , There are still many unsolved mysteries on this road .

writing | Zhijia.com Huang Huadan

With the increasing number of electric vehicles in the market , Can power battery raw materials be self-sufficient ?


Or what kind of scale can be achieved after the number of electric vehicles in the market reaches ?


This involves an old-fashioned question , Is power battery recycling a good business or a big problem .


With 2014 Tesla entered China in , The first batch of Model S The power battery also has 8 Years of life , China's first electric car owners have entered the changing season . Earlier this year, , Ministry of industry and information technology , China will truly usher in the first wave of power lithium battery retirement .6 month 15 Japan , Huanglibin, director of the Department of energy conservation and comprehensive utilization of the Ministry of industry and information technology, led a team to China Iron Tower Corporation to carry out a special investigation on the reuse of power batteries .


Industry insiders have been warning that the pollution problem of waste power batteries is more serious than that of fossil energy .


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And on the other hand , The war between Russia and Ukraine and the explosive development of new energy vehicles have made nickel 、 cobalt 、 The price of lithium and other raw materials continues to soar .


By 6 month 23 Japan , Carbonic acid The average price of lithium has reached 45 Ten thousand yuan / Tons of , Average price of electrolytic nickel 19.37 Ten thousand yuan / Tons of , Average price of electrolytic cobalt 40.5 Ten thousand yuan / Tons of .


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and nickel 、 Cobalt and other mineral resources are mostly in poor areas of Africa , Countries have been worried that it will lead to new geopolitical disasters and conflicts .


Secretary of the Party committee of GuoXuan high tech 、 Chairman Li Zhen is This year, 3 A new view was put forward at the 100 people's meeting on electric vehicles held in October : Battery recycling will end the new energy industry's unlimited demand for the earth's resources .

He quoted Bloomberg data as saying , Expect to 2025 The global new energy industry's demand for batteries will exceed 1.5TWh, Ten years later , These batteries will be recycled gradually , that , To 2035 year , Assume that the newly produced battery is 5TWh, among 1.5TWh The battery raw materials can come from the battery recycling resources .


Of course , Considering the possible losses caused by various reasons in the recovery process , The actual amount of new batteries produced from recycled resources will be less than 1.5TWh.


Li Zhen thinks , When the total demand of raw materials for battery manufacturing and the total supply of materials provided by recycled batteries reach a balance , Human beings will no longer need to ask for unlimited battery manufacturing resources from nature . and , Li Zhen also gave GuoXuan high tech's estimate of this time , namely 2040 About years ago .


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Similarly, ,4 End of month , Ningde times also said at its telephone conference , When The penetration rate of electric vehicles has reached 80-90% when , There is no need to dig new mines .


Recycle the power battery , Some people call it the new blue ocean , Others call it environmental protection .


Profit drives Move or not , Environmental protection , Or just a problem that must be solved , The reality is that , More and more enterprises are Into this field .


The data collected by Zhiyan consulting shows that ,2016-2020 During the year , The registration of power battery recycling enterprises in China is growing slowly .2021 The year began to increase rapidly , The number of registrations reached 24515 home . To 2022 In, it surged to more than 4 Thousands of families .


But it is in line with the Ministry of industry and information technology 《 Industry standard conditions for comprehensive utilization of waste power batteries for new energy vehicles 》 The list of enterprises is announced only by 47 home .


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6 month 22 Japan , Sina Financial Report , Toyota is working with Tesla co-founder JB Straubel Leading battery recycling company Redwood Materials Cooperate to recycle automobile batteries .


Its goal is to create a closed-loop supply chain for electric vehicles , The battery will be extracted from the old electric vehicle and re produced into a new battery .


According to the Research Report of East Asia Qianhai Securities ,2020 There was about 20 10000 tons of power batteries retired , Expect to 2030 year , The total amount of decommissioning will reach 237 Ten thousand tons of .


Everbright Securities forecast , To 2030 year , The recycling of ternary lithium battery and lithium iron phosphate battery will form a 100 billion market . among , In the case of average market price , The total recovery market space of ternary lithium battery metal is 600 Billion yuan , The market space for echelon utilization and recycling of lithium iron phosphate batteries is 480 More than one hundred million yuan .


A start-up market of 100 billion yuan , Battery manufacturer 、 New energy material enterprises 、 Automobile manufacturers, professional recycling enterprises and other roles are swarming into the game , Try to take the lead in the early days of battery retirement .


Because it is in the early stage , The laws and regulations are not yet perfect , It also coincides with the turbulence of the external environment , The price of raw materials is soaring , Short term market chaos is inevitable .


——01——

Echelon utilization


at present , There are two ways to recycle waste batteries . They are echelon utilization and recycling .


5 month 25 Japan , BMW has reached a cooperation with Zhejiang Huayou Recycling Technology Co., Ltd , Seek to realize closed-loop recycling and echelon utilization of power battery raw materials in the field of new energy vehicles .


namely , For retired power batteries , The BMW Group offers two options : First, echelon utilization , Second, disassemble, recycle and reuse .


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So far , Lithium iron phosphate batteries are mainly used for recycling power batteries . Ternary lithium batteries are mainly recycled .


One side , The value of metal resources in ternary lithium batteries is higher , More suitable for direct recycling ; On the other hand , The capacity of ternary lithium battery decays rapidly , Poor safety , Generally, the attenuation is obvious during recovery , No longer has high use value .


Here we will first look at the echelon utilization .


A specific case is the electric tricycle demonstrated by Audi not long ago . According to introducing , This tricycle is equipped with audi e-tron Test the old battery module removed from the vehicle .


What Audi wants to show is how the power battery can be reused at the end of its life cycle . As report goes , This project has produced three electric tricycles , It will be used in India in the future , Provide short distance transportation and goods transportation for users .


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allegedly , This tricycle is a non-profit start-up company funded by the Audi environment foundation Nunam A product developed in cooperation with the training team of Audi nekasum factory .


The company's main objective is to develop methods for using old batteries as secondary energy storage systems , So as to prolong their life , Make more efficient use of resources .


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At present, the common view in the industry is that the power battery capacity attenuation is less than 20%, You can meet automobile Use . When the attenuation is at 20%-40% Between time , It can meet the requirements of echelon utilization . When the attenuation is at 40% Above, regeneration treatment is required .


Echelon utilization has a huge potential market , Its future application scenarios are also very extensive , It mainly includes communication backup battery 、 Energy storage container 、 Low speed car, etc .


The first to realize large-scale echelon utilization in China is China Tower .


2018 Around the year , China Tower has stopped purchasing lead-acid batteries , Turn to unified purchase and echelon utilization of batteries .2019 year , China's iron tower application echelon utilization battery is about 5GWh, Replace lead-acid batteries about 15 Ten thousand tons of , Consume retired power batteries 5 More than ten thousand tons .


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at present , China includes BAIC new energy 、 More than ten automobile enterprises including Chang'an have reached cooperation agreements with China iron tower .


To ensure the safety of echelon battery utilization , Chinese iron towers adopt “ wireless 、 Internet + Large platform ” The construction mode of , A national unified operation and maintenance monitoring platform has been established , Based on this, a echelon utilization battery management platform is created , Realize remote adjustment of terminal battery equipment 、 remote control 、 Telesignaling 、 Telemetry and other operations .


In accordance with the relevant provisions , The power lithium batteries of domestic vehicles on sale shall be connected to the national power lithium battery traceability platform according to the standards and specifications . in other words , Each battery pack has its own code , During use , Does it overheat 、 Whether there has been a short circuit , Battery pack 、 module 、 Whether the electric core is replaced or not is well documented . This provides convenience for the echelon utilization of recycled power batteries .


However, at present, China's echelon utilization is still in the stage of technology inspection and project demonstration , The scale is still very small , The technology is not mature enough . Its safety and stability , And the cost and other issues still need to be considered .


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One side , The disassembly of the battery pack requires a lot of manpower and has potential safety hazards , meanwhile , It is difficult to ensure the consistency of battery reassembly .


On the other hand , The performance of new batteries is on the rise , Production costs are falling , And the performance of retired batteries declines , Maintenance costs are rising .


meanwhile , In terms of price , As the recycling price of China's iron towers is relatively fixed , And recycling has formed a certain market competition , Often the price is higher , It also leads to the fact that the holders of used batteries are more willing to sell them to greenmead and other recycling enterprises focusing on recycling .


This also makes some voices think that echelon utilization is a false proposition .


——02——

Recycling and resource problems


Recycling is mainly to disassemble and crush the battery and extract the metal resources through a certain process .


Compared with lithium iron phosphate battery , Ternary lithium batteries contain more abundant metal resources , Mainly for nickel 、 cobalt 、 manganese 、 lithium And other rare metals , It also includes copper 、 manganese 、 Aluminum, etc. .


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The data shows , Usually , The recycling of ternary lithium battery is mainly priced by nickel and cobalt , That is, the market price of nickel and cobalt * Discount factor , It's usually 6.5-8.5 fold , Lithium iron phosphate batteries are priced by lithium .


among , The recovery rate of nickel and cobalt is generally 98%-99% about , The loss is very small . Recovery of lithium , According to the data of Ningde times subsidiary Bopu , Has also reached 91%.


Extracted nickel and cobalt 、 Lithium carbonate can be sold at market price , The cost is the raw material cost plus the processing cost . The cost of raw materials is the price of the above recovered batteries , The processing cost is generally in 2 Ten thousand yuan / Tons of .


Generally, the gross profit margin of nickel and cobalt recovery is 20% about , However, lithium in ternary lithium battery is not priced , So only 2 Ten thousand yuan / Processing cost per ton , Even with lithium carbonate 10 Ten thousand yuan / The price per ton , Plus all kinds of expenses and discounts , The profit margin is not low .


But this year, for various reasons , Raw materials are in short supply , nickel 、 cobalt 、 The price of lithium and other metals soared . By 6 month 23 Japan , The average price of lithium carbonate has reached 45 Ten thousand yuan / Tons of .


Driven by high profits , The recycling price of waste power batteries is also rising , Even the discount coefficient is inverted , Under normal circumstances 70% At its peak, the discount coefficient of 145%. in other words , You need to increase the price to buy used batteries .


According to greenmead, who entered the power battery recycling track early, we answered the questions of investors , Nickel in China 、 Cobalt resources are scarce , The reserves of cobalt resources account for 1.03%, The annual production is about 1500 Tons of , And the domestic demand exceeds 5 Ten thousand tons of ; Nickel resource reserves account for 3.0%, Insufficient production 10 Ten thousand tons of , Domestic demand is about 50 Ten thousand tons of . therefore , Domestic nickel 、 Cobalt resources mainly depend on imports .


At the international level , nickel 、 cobalt 、 Lithium resources are also limited .


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Guosen Securities research report quoted the data of the U.S. Geological Survey as saying ,2020 In, the global nickel resource reserves were about 8900 Ten thousand tons of , With 2020 Global nickel production in 250 10000 tons , The static minable life of global nickel ore is 35 About years ago .


Tianfeng securities research report predicts , future 5 In, the global cobalt industry will always be in a tight balance ,2021 Year to 2025 Cobalt resources will continue to be in short supply in .


And in lithium resources ,2020 year 9 month , Caoyuliang of Wuhan University is in 《 Energy storage science and technology 》 There is an article on , The world's proven lithium reserves are equivalent to about... Lithium carbonate equivalent 7100 Ten thousand tons of , With every electric car 80 The kilowatt hour lithium battery pack is calculated as the benchmark , Each car consumes about 48 Kilogram lithium carbonate , The available lithium reserves in the world can meet about 14.8 Demand for 100 million electric vehicles .


But on the other hand , As the market demand for high endurance capability of electric vehicles further increases , Ternary lithium batteries with higher energy density will still represent the future of lithium batteries for a long time . And one of , The higher the nickel content , The higher the energy density , Endurance is also improved .


In the short term , Nickel and lithium are abundant in the world .


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therefore , There are two directions to solve the resource problem :


One is Develop high nickel batteries , Solve the continuous shortage of cobalt resources while improving the energy density of the battery , meanwhile , Nickel is cheaper than cobalt , It also reduces battery costs ;

Two is Recycle the power battery, decompose and recycle the metal resources , Realize the closed-loop application of power battery , Achieve resource balance .


When the high nickel of ternary battery is in progress , Nickel cobalt manganese product model from 111 All the way up 433、532、622, And ushered in 8 The nickel rich era of the system ——811, Nickel 、 cobalt 、 Manganese content accounts for 80%、10% and 10%.


Musk even announced that it would use nickel in energy intensive vehicles 100% Ultra high nickel ultimate state battery .


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The soaring demand for recycled power batteries and considerable profits have also led to chaos in the recycling market .


As mentioned earlier , In the power battery recycling market , Except those on the white list of the Ministry of industry and information technology “ Regular army ”, There are also a large number of small workshops .


Small workshops have little environmental protection cost , There are no rules , Low recovery cost , Compared with regular enterprises, they can offer higher recycling prices .


therefore , Most of the used batteries go to the informal market . According to industry insiders , Among the power batteries recycled every year , have only 30% It was acquired through formal channels .

And for those on the white list “ Regular army ” Come on , In automatic disassembly 、 Crushing and sorting 、 There are still bottlenecks in battery pretreatment technologies such as intelligent dissociation technology . The disassembly cost is large 、 Key technologies and equipment such as efficient extraction of valuable metals need to be upgraded , The level of pollution prevention and control needs to be improved and other problems still need to be solved .


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On the other hand , According to insiders , There are some “ White list ” The enterprise has not actually carried out battery resource recovery , But the use of “ White list ” Qualified to trade in decommissioned batteries , A few rounds of turnover has led to a rise in battery costs .


This year, 2 month , Ministry of industry 、 National Development and Reform Commission 、 The Ministry of science and technology and other eight departments have jointly issued 《 Accelerate the implementation plan of promoting the comprehensive utilization of industrial resources 》, It is clearly required to improve the recycling system of waste power batteries , Cultivate echelon and recycling backbone enterprises .


——03——

Incoming enterprises


at present , Enterprises in the field of power battery recycling are mainly divided into four categories , First, the Ningde era 、 Honeycomb energy, etc Battery enterprises , Second, Huayou cobalt industry 、 Ganfeng lithium industry, etc New energy material enterprises , Third, BYD 、 BAIC Blue Valley, etc Vehicle enterprises , Fourth, Tianqi shares 、 Grime et al Third party recycling enterprises .


For car companies , Few fight alone , It mainly cooperates with third-party enterprises or battery enterprises . Such as Toyota and Redwood materials, BMW and Huayou cycle , Audi and Nunam etc. .


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Car companies have a natural advantage in recycling batteries , No need to go through the recycling market , Recycle waste power batteries directly in the after-sales system , Then the partner will carry out echelon utilization or recycling .


This is also the advantage of cooperation between automobile enterprises and power battery recycling enterprises or battery enterprises .


The data shows ,2021 Since then , A large number of enterprises began to lay out the power battery recycling industry ,LG、 Dow technology 、 samsung 、 tesla 、 GuoXuan high tech 、 Yiwei lithium energy and others are also competing to enter the market .


Besides , Some enterprises have begun to extend their tentacles to the global battery recycling market . Huayou cobalt Co., Ltd 、 Recently, the two greenmead companies respectively set up battery recycling businesses in South Korea , And plan to develop in Europe in the future .


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A large number of retired power batteries will gradually enter the market . Effective power battery Recycling helps The whole new energy automobile industry is orderly and healthy Of Development , meanwhile , It is also a necessary way to ensure the resource supply of the new energy automobile industry .


And the current , The recycling market of power batteries is not perfect , The price and channel of recycling are still problems . And in the long run , In this 100 billion yuan market that is developing , The recycling idea of the enterprise 、 programme , And an advanced and complete industrial chain 、 Technology and equipment will become the core competitiveness of the enterprise .


On the other hand , The improvement of laws and regulations will also provide guarantee for the recovery of power batteries .


6 month 15 Japan , Huanglibin, director of the Department of energy conservation and comprehensive utilization of the Ministry of industry and information technology, led a team to China iron tower company to carry out special research .


Huanglibin's requirements , We should systematically summarize the pilot experience of recycling retired power batteries , Stick to problem orientation , Work with relevant departments , Accelerate research and development 《 Administrative measures for recycling of power batteries of new energy vehicles 》 And the standards urgently needed by the industry , We will strengthen the research, promotion and application of key technologies such as efficient regeneration and utilization of power batteries , Continuously improve the recycling system , Improve the recycling level of power batteries .


With the support of the standardized power battery recycling market , We believe that , The new energy industry can achieve a perfect closed loop , Get rid of overexploitation of the earth's resources .


It's just this step , At present, it still needs the joint efforts of the industry .


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