Peterson continues, stating "Given the extremely high metal value of used cobalt-based lithium batteries, it seems strange that only one company in the world, Umicore of Belgium, has bothered to develop a recycling process." Well, Peterson is wrong, or at least unaware that Kinsbursky Brothers, Toxco (pdf), and perhaps even some other companies, recycle lithium batteries too.One of the most pervasive and enduring myths in the energy storage sector is that a robust recycling infrastructure for used lithium-ion batteries will be built before the wonder-batteries that are being manufactured today for the first generation of plug-in vehicles reach the end of their useful lives. In the worst case scenario, advocates suggest used lithium-ion batteries will be stockpiled until there are enough used batteries to justify the build-out of recycling infrastructure.
For several years, the single-minded obsession of all lithium-ion battery developers has been reducing costs to a point where using batteries as a substitute for a fuel tank makes economic sense. Most of the progress has come from substituting cheap raw materials like iron, manganese and titanium for the more costly cobalt and nickel that were used in first generation lithium-ion batteries. Unfortunately, when you slash the cost of the materials that go into a battery you also slash the value of the materials that can be recovered from that battery at the end of its useful life.
Peterson closes with this statement:
Fair warning: that link takes you directly to Peterson's article focused on exposing the "plug-in fraud for what it is."In the final analysis, the recycling mythology is just another glaring example of unconscionable waste and pollution masquerading as conservation.
Photo by Sebastian Blanco / Copyright ©2010 AOL
[Source: Alt Energy Stocks]