SK Innovation plans to commercialize a technology enabling the retrieval of lithium hydroxide from used batteries of electric vehicles, the company said on Aug. 20.
Lithium hydroxide is retrieved from the cathode material of used batteries. Until now, only materials such as nickel, cobalt and manganese had been available from such used parts.
“Ours will be the world’s first in terms of retrieving lithium hydroxide,” said the firm in a statement, noting that starting next year, the world will be seeing a lot of used batteries being discarded from EVs.
Some of the batteries are recycled for energy storing systems, but they can usually never again be used for an EV battery.
SK Innovation is currently looking to diversity the EV value chain based on its BaaS (Battery as a Service) platform based on the 5Rs, which are Repair, Rental, Recharge, Reuse and Recycling.
The firm is also planning to develop various business models, such as the Virtual Power Plant, Energy Management System and Energy Saving to provide comprehensive energy solutions. Recycling used batteries is a part of this strategy.
Cathodes account for about 40% of battery prices. Experts say that with the right recycling technology, the costs could go down.
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