The global Li-ion battery supply chain is critical to the energy transition and is also exceptionally long and complex. It is vulnerable to external shocks, such as extreme weather and geopolitical upheaval. Securing and strengthening this delicate supply chain is essential for the transition to a cleaner, healthier battery-powered world.
Batteries are made with many critical minerals, with cobalt, lithium, and nickel as the most important. These three minerals were added to the US government’s critical mineral list in 2022, with all three classified as having “high supply risk” 2025-2035.
Many of the countries where these critical minerals are located and mined have unstable governments and unpredictable political systems. Disruption of battery mineral supplies can result in supply problems and price spikes for important consumer goods like computers and cars.
Mining critical minerals often comes at a significant monetary, humanitarian, and environmental cost, especially in the absence of comprehensive, stringently enforced government regulations.
Meanwhile, the majority of spent Li-ion batteries end up in landfills, where they release toxic chemicals and threaten human health. The ideal solution to both problems would be to recycle used batteries into materials for new batteries. Currently, the best way to reuse battery minerals is to ship used batteries to China and South Korea, where other companies profit from turning battery waste into precursor cathode active materials (pCAM) and other battery constituents.
Battery minerals can travel over 50,000 miles from extraction to battery cell production, creating several potential chokepoints. A closed-loop domestic supply chain that includes turning waste batteries into materials for new batteries can reduce shipping costs, create jobs, trim costs, and reduce each battery’s carbon footprint.
The global battery supply chain is currently seeing major legislative changes. The European Union is now more strict on battery production, with major pushes for recycled materials. Thanks in large part to ambitious federal laws passed in the last two years, the U.S.is becoming more competitive in the mission of building and expanding a closed-loop, domestic supply chain of Li-ion batteries.
Green Li-ion is one of the few battery recycling companies looking to integrate their technology into existing battery manufacturing sites, rather than building standalone recycling centers. By doing so, battery recyclers and manufacturers can gain greater control over their critical minerals supply in a matter of months instead of waiting years for a new recycling facility to be built. Our modular technology can simultaneously produce pCAM and extract valuable minerals from spent batteries, can easily integrate into pre-existing production lines, and is ready to be installed in factories today.
Batteries are a critical component in the energy transition, but the current supply chain is full of potential pitfalls. A domestic supply chain utilizing battery recycling can boost bottom lines, reduce carbon footprints, and mitigate human rights concerns. Green Li-ion’s recycling units will create a whole new market within the U.S. and open new revenue streams for OEMs, diversified industrials using battery recycling as a business unit (such as the automotive industry), and pure-play recyclers.
Green Li-ion is revolutionizing the energy storage industry with clean technology that fully remanufactures spent lithium-Ion batteries and waste. To find out more, visit the Green Li-ion website.