Lithium-ion battery recycling, a lucrative business: many new players are jumping into the pool – An interview with Anhua Taisen Recycling Technology

The Lithium-ion battery market is growing exponentially. The increased demand for Li-ion batteries has highlighted potential problems in the raw material supply chain (e.g. cobalt, lithium…) needed for their manufacture. Battery recycling can reduce one of these problems as battery recycling can supply a significant fraction of these materials.

Li-ion battery recycling is a dynamic industry. With the rapid adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), the demand for Li-ion batteries as well as Li-ion battery recycling will grow significantly in the coming decades.  The value of raw materials present in Li-ion batteries going for recycling is around $315 million, and will reach $1,137 million by 2025 and $23,812 million by 2040.

In a new report, Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Market & Technology Trends 2020, Yole Développement’s (Yole) analysts analyze Li-ion battery recycling technology and market trends as well as second life application trends.

Jayden Goh, CEO of Anhua Taisen Recycling Technology Co. Ltd. and EcoNiLi Battery, talked with Shalu Agarwal, Technology & Market Analyst, Power Electronics & Batteries at Yole Développement. Read their discussion below to understand what the issues and opportunities are for a Li-ion battery recycler in this challenging industry.

Shalu Agarwal (SA): Please introduce yourself, and can you explain a little more about your Lithium-ion battery recycling companies?

Jayden Goh (JG): I have been working for seven years as the CEO at Taisen Recycling, a company in China. Before starting at Taisen I was the CEO of 2 commercial B2B and retail operations. At the moment, I’m also the President and CEO at EcoNiLi Battery, Inc
We have formed a group of companies in Asia and China to provide full recycling services for all sorts of used lithium-ion batteries, NiCd, NiMH, and the recovery of battery raw materials from scrap lithium-ion batteries and shredded lithium-ion batteries. This includes black powder and cathode/electrodes foils extracted from the lithium-ion battery cells.
Our group is currently composed of the Preference Group from Malaysia, Anhua Taisen Recycling Technology from China, Joogshin Ind. Co. Ltd from South Korea, and EcoNiLi Battery, Inc operating in Indonesia, Malaysia, and is expanding throughout Asia and Europe. 

SA: Why is Li-ion battery recycling difficult?

GH: Recycling itself is not difficult. However, the approval and necessary permits take time in each separate country. Regulations differ in most countries. 

SA: Do you think recycling can be a secondary source of valuable materials like cobalt and nickel?

GA: Of course, because mining creates an increased carbon footprint. Hence, recycling is the main alternative for materials in the supply chain and the value involved is big.

Cobalt sulfate powder - Courtesy of Anhua Taisen Recycling Technology
Cobalt sulfate powder – Courtesy of Anhua Taisen Recycling Technology

SA: What is the impact of the growing electric vehicle market on Li-ion battery recycling business?

GA: Those days people focus on portable battery recycling. Momentum is booming in the EV market, so more batteries are out there. So the recycler gains more tonnage through input of scrap batteries. 

SA: What are some concerns for lithium-ion battery recyclers?

GA: To set up a battery recycling business the main concern is regular supply of scrap battery feedstock, else the plant can’t make a profit.

SA: What are some of the most prominent opportunities for lithium-ion battery recyclers in the coming years?

GA: With ever more lithium-ion battery makers, there is more plant scrap around. The main challenge is how to concentrate the scrap batteries as raw material for the recycler.

SA: What is your opinion about the second life application market. Will it increase in the coming years?

GA: It will increase, because reuse has more value than recycling. People want cost efficiency, so reuse is the solution for many products out there, like ESS and solar batteries.

SA: What are the main challenges to implement end-of-life EV batteries for second-life applications?

GA: Many OEMs do not allow battery reuse as this will affect their business. They sell new batteries. We sell the second-use battery. What will happen to them if the market chooses the second-hand battery instead of a new battery?

SA: The Li-ion battery recycling market is growing and attracting more players, as reported by Yole Développement. But, facing this competitive landscape, what is the current strategy of EcoNiLi Battery and Taisen?

GA: EcoNiLi Battery, Inc. has emerged with a solution to overcome the logistical problems of exporting scrap batteries to China. Now Ahua Taisen Recycling has expanded its facilities overseas through partnerships to be closer to the upstream out of China.

Nickel sulfate powder - Courtesy of Anhua Taisen Recycling Technology
Nickel sulfate powder – Courtesy of Anhua Taisen Recycling Technology

SA: Did you identify prominent opportunities for lithium-ion battery recyclers? Can you tell us more?

GA: In my point of view, the battery recycling business is lucrative. That is why many new players are jumping into the lithium-ion battery recycling pool. For new lithium-ion battery recyclers, the main challenge is to secure a source of feedstock. Owning the best technology won’t guarantee you success because in this field the main key  is the resource and supply of used batteries. In other words, the main challenge is to concentrate those used batteries in a cost-effective method. It is a matter of deciding the size of investment. The landscape in China is too competitive so there is not enough business for every battery recycler there. However, this industry is an emerging market, especially in the USA, EU, UK, because of the number of lithium-ion battery makers.

SA: Do you want to add few words for i-Micronews’ readers?

GA: This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to remodel lithium battery waste management, reduce pressure on our environment and create economic opportunity.

Interviewee

Mr. Jayden Goh has seven year’s experience as the CEO of the Taisen Recycling company in China as well as the background as the CEO of 2 commercial B2B and retail operations. He demonstrates managerial and leadership qualities through communicating and working effectively in the battery recycling industry. He is an effective decision maker in dynamic business environments. Able to generate solutions to problems using scientific and critical thinking skills. At Taisen Recycling Company, he was in charge of the overall business execution of the recycling company by balancing innovation and profitability under six departments. Experience in reprocessing of scrap battery plus trading e-waste. He successfully managed the annual turnover as below:

  •  2016: 100 million RMB;
  • 2017: 70 million RMB;
  • 2018: 120 million RMB

As the co-founder and CEO, he managed the business cooperation with suppliers such as BYD, YIN; LONG, FARASIA, BAK, HUAWEI, and LISHEN. Mr. Jayden owns a bachelor’s degree in Executive Management from the Asia & University Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia,and an MBA of Economics from the University Technology Malaysia – UTM Skudai Joho.

Interviewer

Shalu Agarwal, PhD. is Power Electronics and Materials Analyst at Yole Développement (Yole),within the Power & Wireless division. Based on Seoul, Shalu is engaged in the development of technology & market reports as well as the production of custom consulting studies.
Shalu has more than 10 years’ experience in Electronic Material Chemistry. Before joining Yole, she worked as a project manager and research professor in the field of electronic materials, batteries and inorganic chemistry.
Shalu Agarwal received her master’s and Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the Indian institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee (India).

Related report

Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Market & Technology Trends 2020






Source: http://www.yole.fr/, https://www.taisen-recyctech.com/

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