Battery Scrap Market: Introduction

  • After a battery reaches the end of its useful life, it is considered a battery scrap. This battery scrap contains several poisonous chemicals and heavy metals. Disposal of these batteries as a regular trash deteriorates groundwater sources and causes contamination of soil.
  • Lead, mercury, and cadmium are highly toxic substances. Collection, storage, and recycling of battery scrap serves two purposes. Poisonous substances are prevented from entering the environment and useful metals are recovered for secondary usage.
  • Battery scrap waste can be treated with the help of electrolysis and smelting processes in order to extract lead and separate certain impurities from it, such as sulfates, oxides, and other metals
  • Storage battery scrap is the key source of secondary lead production. A majority of scrap batteries are purchased and stocked. Then, they are employed primarily to extract lead and then, to sell the extracted lead.

Key Drivers of Global Battery Scrap Market

  • Lead–acid batteries have been used largely for the last few years. More than 50% of the lead supply comes from recycled batteries. The automotive industry witnesses significant demand for battery scrap. Lead is the most common material used in various components such as wheel weights, car batteries, and solders in electronic applications. Thus, growth of the automobile sector is expected to augment the demand for lead in the near future. This, in turn, is projected to drive the global battery scrap market in the next few years.
  • The worldwide transition toward use of electric vehicles (EVs) has been significant for the last few years. According to Li-Cycle, a Canada-based battery recycling startup, the transition toward electric vehicles can leave 11 million tons of spent lithium-ion batteries as battery scrap by the end of 2030. This is estimated to create immense opportunities for new players entering the global battery scrap market during the forecast period.
  • Stringent environment-related regulations imposed by local and national governments worldwide for clean use of energy and for disposal and reuse of batteries have fueled the demand for battery scrap. Rechargeable nickel–metal hydride (NiMH) batteries are currently used in a majority of hybrid cars. They offer high performance and benefits in terms of environment protection. Also, a NiMH battery is smaller and lighter, which adds to the fuel economy of hybrid cars.
  • Increase in the extraction of raw materials such as iron, lead, copper, manganese, and chromium from recyclable batteries is also boosting the demand for battery scrap market across the world
  • The two common cathode metals used in batteries are cobalt and nickel. They are considered the most expensive components. Moreover, their prices have fluctuated substantially in the recent years. This, in turn, has fueled the use of battery scrap.

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Restraints of Global Battery Scrap Market

  • Battery scrap is indirectly considered under the category of hazardous waste. Its sorting, storage, transportation, processing, and disposal in India are governed by the Hazardous Wastes Rules, 1989 and the measures issued by the Ministry of Environment & Forest under the Environment Protection Act (EPA), 1986.

Major Developments

  • On September 17, 2019, American Manganese Inc. announced that Kemetco Research, the company’s independent contract lab had started testing of third-party lithium-ion battery materials, as a part of the subsequent testing of the pilot plant project.
  • In May 2019, Umicore announced the acquisition of Freeport Cobalt’s cobalt refining and cathode precursor activities in Finland for a total consideration of US$ 150 Mn
  • In March 2019, Volkswagen announced its plans to open a new pilot recycling project near its global headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. The project implementation is expected to start by end of year 2020. Intake of this plant would be around 1,200 tons of used automotive lithium-ion battery packs per year. Volkswagen aims to recycle almost 97% of all raw materials used in these battery packs over the next 10 years.

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Asia Pacific Expected to Offer High Potential for Battery Scrap Market

  • Based on region, the global battery scrap market can be classified into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
  • Asia Pacific continues to be a key region of the global battery scrap market, in terms of generation of scrap batteries. The region is expected to offer lucrative opportunities for new entrants in the next few years. According to a report published by Reuters, China alone produces more than 3.3 million tons of waste lead and other battery scrap ever year.
  • Moreover, other sources indicate that China recycled around 67,000 tons of lead battery scrap in 2018 at its dedicated battery recycling units
  • According to a recent report published by JMK Research, India is expected to possess recycling capacity of 23 GWh by the end of 2030.
  • Europe is expected to be an expanding market for battery scrap during the forecast period. Battery production is crucial for Europe, due to its efforts for transition toward clean energy and competitiveness of the automobile sector in the region.
  • The market in Middle East & Africa is expected to expand significantly during the forecast period, due to expansion of automotive and industrial sectors in the region

Key Players Operating in Global Battery Scrap Market

Major players operating in the global battery scrap market are:

  • Battery Solutions
  • Umicore
  • Gravita India Ltd.
  • Exide Industries Ltd.
  • Duracell Inc.
  • ECOBAT Technologies
  • Aqua Metals Inc.
  • Brunp Recycling
  • GEM
  • SUNLIGHT Recycling

Global Battery Scrap Market, by Product

  • Lead Acid
  • Lithium Ion
  • Nickel Cadmium
  • Nickel–Metal Hydride
  • Others

Global Battery Scrap Market, by Application

  • Material Extraction
  • Reuse or Second Life
  • Disposal
  • Others

Global Battery Scrap Market, by Source

  • Consumer Electronics
  • Automotive
  • Industrial
  • Marine
  • Others

Global Battery Scrap Market, by Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • U.K.
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia & CIS
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa

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Battery Scrap Market

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