In recent years, China's new energy vehicle market has experienced explosive growth, and a round of new energy battery "retirement tide" is also coming. Batteries contain a variety of heavy metals, and improper handling will cause environmental hazards. While the new energy vehicle industry is booming, where should retired batteries go? Let's take a look at the reporter's research.
Let new energy decommissioned batteries give new life
At a battery recycling plant in Guangdong, the reporter saw that batteries retired from new energy vehicles were piled up throughout the plant.
To handle the surge in retired batteries, the company opened two new factories in Jiangmen and Jiangsu this year, opening a total of 10 new production lines. After the decommissioned battery enters the factory, it will go through screening, crushing, smelting and other processes. Valuable metals such as nickel, cobalt and manganese are extracted and re-sold. However, this process, if not handled properly, can cause pollution to the environment.
Yang Lin, Secretary-General of the Battery Recycling Committee of China Electronics Energy Saving Technology Association: There is an electrolyte in the power battery, as well as heavy metals, if it is discarded arbitrarily, it will definitely be harmful to the environment, so it may be difficult to get some restoration of water and soil in the next few decades.
According to statistics, China has entered a large-scale retirement period of power batteries, and China's decommissioned power batteries will reach 2023,59 tons in 2028, and China's power battery retirement will exceed 260.<> million tons per year from <>. What about the surge of retired batteries? The reporter saw a variety of solutions in the survey.
According to the national standard of new energy vehicles, the remaining 80% of the capacity of the power battery can be "decommissioned". The reduced battery capacity will reduce the cruising range and affect the user's experience. However, retired batteries can still be used in scenarios with low battery performance requirements, such as energy storage and electric bicycles, to achieve "echelon utilization".
Zheng Weipeng, head of Jiecheng New Energy Group: After we took back a large battery pack, through disassembly and testing, if these cells can still be used, we reassemble it. Through testing, some we will use it for energy storage, and the other we make a battery for low-speed cars.
Data on the "chain"
Keep a "health account" for the battery
Although echelon utilization can extend the service life of power batteries, it is not easy for recycling companies to practice, mainly because it is costly to understand the extent of loss of retired batteries. The reporter found in the investigation that the application of a new technology is bringing changes to the industry.
On the large screen in front of him, the health data of more than 3,3 power batteries flashes in real time. Don't underestimate these data, the person in charge of the battery operation enterprise told reporters that they can make some batteries sell <> times more when recycled.
In the past, if you wanted to reuse retired batteries, the recycler could only disassemble the battery pack, test the health of each cell, and select the appropriate one to reassemble into a new battery pack. More recycling companies that lack the corresponding technology and manpower can only disassemble and crush the retired batteries like waste products and directly sell the heavy metals in the batteries.
The chip in the hands of Liao Zhicheng, the head of the battery operation enterprise, is like a health butler on the battery. Not only does it keep an account of the use of the battery, but it also uploads the data to the blockchain platform in real time, so that they cannot be tampered with. This way, recyclers don't have to disassemble each other to know the full health of the battery. The reporter learned that the battery pack with a high degree of health can be sold for 300 yuan when recycled, which is three times the previous one.
Zheng Weipeng, head of Jiecheng New Energy Group: With this empowerment of blockchain technology, we don't actually need to open this battery pack, or even in front of my eyes, as long as I know the code of the battery pack, I already know what the quality and standard of the battery pack are. If the contents of these battery packs are basically good, and they all have more than 80% residual energy, we will put it on the link of echelon utilization.
At present, China has built the world's largest new energy equipment blockchain platform, and the number of new energy equipment on the chain exceeds 800 million. With the addition of street lamps, toys and other use scenarios with lower battery capacity requirements into the cycle, more secondary uses of new energy batteries are possible.
Chen Zhong, director of the Blockchain Research Center of Peking University: Blockchain can accurately record the life cycle of batteries, when they started production, and what kind of utilization they undergoed, such an untamperable history, which has a positive effect on this circulation utilization and recycling.
From production to recycling
Let new energy batteries achieve a green cycle
Decommissioning is not scrapped, and the service life of new energy batteries has become longer. But they still have to go to dismantling and recycling in the end. How to make new energy batteries from production to recycling, forming a green cycle of energy conservation and environmental protection? Continue with the reporter's investigation.
China's lithium resources account for only 7% of the world's resources, but China's electric vehicle production and sales account for 60% of the world's total. Therefore, it is of great significance to extract lithium, cobalt, nickel and other metals in the battery and recycle it into a new battery.
Yang Lin, Secretary-General of the Battery Recycling Committee of China Electronics Energy Saving Technology Association: In fact, it is a concept of urban mines, and it is optimistic that in the next twenty years, the materials we recycle through power batteries can fully meet the materials we produce new batteries.
The reporter learned in the survey that more than half of the current retired batteries are handled by enterprises that do not have the qualification to handle. Dismantling and recycling has problems such as high energy consumption, low metal recovery rate, and poor environmental protection. In response to the current situation, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced four batches of power battery recycling whitelist enterprises, actively guiding the formalization of power battery recycling.
Yang Lin, Secretary-General of the Battery Recycling Committee of China Electronics Energy Saving Technology Association: The number of whitelist enterprises has reached 88, and with the increase of whitelist enterprises, their investment in environmental protection and technology research and development, this industry will become better and better. Small workshops, black workshops, may slowly become less soil for it to survive.
Experts told reporters that in order to form a stable, green and sustainable power battery recycling system, unified national standards, industry standards, recycling standards and recycling channels are needed.
In recent years, China has successively issued national standards such as power battery disassembly specifications and residual energy testing, and promoted the unified coding of power batteries nationwide. Relevant departments said that they are speeding up the formulation of the "New Energy Vehicle Power Battery Recycling Management Measures" to further improve the standard system of power batteries.