Batteries may be powering the clean energy revolution, but they have a dirty little secret: The cells themselves are not all that good for the planet. There are serious environmental and social concerns associated with mining of metals such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt that are used in lithium-ion batteries. If thrown in the landfill, batteries can leach toxic chemicals. And when damaged, they can catch fire.
Add to those concerns supply shortages and price jumps in battery materials, and the case for recycling lithium-ion batteries starts to make a lot of sense. Indeed, the lithium-ion battery recycling market is set to experience impressive growth, with an expected CAGR of 8.8% to 2030, according to a recent report by Grand View Research. The overall value of the market for recycling of batteries of all chemistries is predicted to reach nearly $20 billion that year.
Here's a look at some of the startups paving the way in battery recycling.