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Solve battery drain problem

Solve battery drain problem

tech innovation 2022

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The growing adoption of electric vehicles (EV) and household batteries comes with its own environmental and sustainability problem – what to do with batteries at the end of their lifespan?

As climate change and the decline of fossil fuels accelerate, many Australians are installing household batteries to store solar power and choosing electric cars to help reduce emissions and protect the environment. are.

However, this poses a new problem – how to recycle used batteries in a safe and environmentally sustainable way and reuse their valuable components?

Sending the lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) used in electric cars, most electronic devices and solar batteries to landfills can harm the environment and surrounding communities in a number of ways, from toxic emissions to fires. Incorrect disposal of LIBs in general waste or recycling bins can result in fires during transportation or at recycling centers.

This means the ability to effectively recycle LIBs is critical to the environment and the development of a circular economy, but LIBs separate recycling companies across Australia covering everything from transport and storage to safety labeling and waste disposal. -Face a staggering array of different rules.

Solving the problems of how best to recycle LIB batteries, and how to make them in the first place using circular economy principles, researchers from Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) and the university’s School of Engineering is occupying.

Earlier this year a study by mechatronics engineering student Liam Digby, under the supervision of Professor Bernard Rolfe and IFM’s Dr. Jingxi Xiao, found that the increased use of electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia could lead to 180,000 tonnes of LIB waste by 2036. And there could be a loss of $2.9. Billions of damages to the economy

Despite this, the Australian industry lags behind its international counterparts, Mr Digby’s research found.

In 2017–2018, only 6% of LIBs were collected in Australia, compared to a 50% collection rate across Europe. The lack of collection and transport infrastructure in Australia means that it is difficult to obtain sustainable amounts of LIB waste, making recycling an unprofitable business model. Gaps in research surrounding the financial viability and life cycle assessment of LIBs in Australia make investing risky without a clear projection of the industry’s future.

“As we go through the transition from internal combustion engines to EVs, it is inevitable that everyday Australians will be affected at both an individual and national level,” says Mr Digby.

“We wanted to know what action was needed to reduce the financial and environmental impacts.”

Mr Digby’s report examines the current state of the Australian LIB supply chain and explores economic models for LIB recycling. It also gives suggestions for government and industry actions and community education.

“It is essential to educate people about how they can approach the transition to EVs to ensure an environmentally and economically conscious future,” Mr. Digby says.

“We hope that our research can help create a community conscious of a circular economy.”

IFM’s Dr. Timothy Khoo says that sending batteries to landfills not only risks the leakage of toxic substances into the environment, but also leads to a huge waste of valuable resources.

“Seventy-five percent of battery components can be reused for new batteries or used in other industries,” he says.

In response to industry calls to strengthen and streamline regulatory frameworks, particularly with regard to product quality, transport and waste tracking, IFM researchers and industry partner the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI) have created a framework for guidelines on recycling. set to prepare. Blended batteries and helps the industry navigate the various requirements from state to state.

“The pace of the transition to both electric vehicles and home energy storage has taken Australia’s budding battery recycling industry and regulators by surprise,” says ABRI CEO Katherine Holl. There is a need to find the best equipment.”

“Industry and consumers want Clarity to be able to answer questions like: What material do I have, how do I store it and how do I move it?

“Standardized management of new and used battery tracking will support better transparency and provide a reliable source of data to inform future policy action,” she says.

PHD. Chaired by Deakin-led ARC Training Center for Future Energy Storage Technologies (StorEnergy) students Greg Rollo-Walker and Anna Warrington and Benny Roff and Evelyn Zhang from Deakin Law School, the project focused on used lead-acid batteries, a region in Australia Experience in recycling, and household waste batteries, including LIBs.

The research team examined how used batteries are classified under various laws ranging from environmental protection to health and safety to dangerous goods and interviewed industry representatives including the Battery Stewardship Council, Ramcar, EnviroStream and Resource.

The result is an industry guide to recycling old and new technology batteries that answers questions such as what licenses are required to transport batteries and how they should be stored safely.

The next step will be to test the program with industry, continuing to develop the guide and expanding it to cover other battery types.

“I see three main areas that need to be addressed to improve battery recycling in Australia,” says Mr Walker.

“It’s educating the consumer; providing concise instructions and drop-off locations; and ensuring that recyclers can do their job safely without getting lost in the regulatory maze for transport and storage of these devices.”

“While the project has helped to highlight existing processes and provide a clearer picture for industry, it is also providing valuable training to the next generation of energy researchers and regulators,” says Dr. Khoo.

“Law students are gaining knowledge about the scientific side of environmental regulation and how difficult it is to translate into regulatory frameworks, while PhD researchers gain an understanding of how science is interpreted from a legal and regulatory perspective. ”

Researcher investigates the issue of battery recycling

Provided by Deakin University

Citation: Solve the problem of battery waste (2022, June 21) Retrieved from June 21, 2022

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